Food Network Kitchen chef and James Beard Foundation Award-winner Virginia Willis has made cookies with Dwanye “The Rock” Johnson, foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in Sicily, and beguiled celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Julie Chrisley with her cooking. Virginia is the author of Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. She was the TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree and executive producer for Epicurious TV on the Discovery Channel. She’s been seen on Food Network, CBS This Morning, and Fox and Friends and featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Eater, and Food52. She has contributed to Eating Well, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. Her fans love her foolproof recipes and down-to-earth attitude. Beginning in 2019 she lost 65 pounds and has kept if off for well over a year. In 2022, her health journey was documented in Eating Well magazine as a weight loss success story. Virginia has embraced her new outlook on life and has become a cheerleader for those wanting to make their own own life changes, “If a French-trained Southern chef can do it, you can, too!” Learn more at