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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Chef Virginia Willis joins Southern Living team

courtesy of Virginia Willis

courtesy of Virginia Willis

Yay! I’d better go renew my subscription!

You know this means you’ve ‘really arrived’ don’t you?

Those smart people are lucky to have you.

Southern Living — loved like real pearls and real silver for us Southern girls.

These comments represent just a sampling of the many that local chef Virginia Willis received on her Facebook post,

Yippeee! Happy to announce I’m going to be a contributing editor for Southern Living! Look for my recipes starting this summer.

Virginia Willis joins the Southern Living team to provide recipes for the recurring “What to Eat Now” section, which focuses on what’s in season at that very moment. Look for her contributions beginning in a few months with features on peaches, tomatoes and watermelons.

Her first assignment on peaches will include a recipe for peach upside down cake, a play on the traditional pineapple version. She tells me that the Southern Living test kitchen awarded this recipe the coveted three-star score — one that only about 20% of the thousands of recipes tested receive.

While Virginia will continue writing for other publications, she admits that she’s downright giddy over the opportunity to work with Southern Living. “This is a huge step for me and my career. My mama is so excited. New York Times — whatever. It’s all about Southern Living for my mama.” When Executive Editor Rachel Hardage told Virginia they wanted her on the masthead, she didn’t hesitate to accept.

In her spare time, Virginia continues to promote her most recent cookbook, “Basic to Brilliant, Y’all.” She’s also working on a small book about okra for University Press and a book about Will Harris and the five generations of White Oak Pastures. The latter will be a narrative as opposed to a cookbook and she says, “I’m excited to expand into this genre.” She is working on the project with a team that includes Atlanta-based food stylist and photographer Angie Mosier.

Congrats to Virginia! It’s not just her mama she makes proud.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

4 comments Add your comment

Snippets of Thyme

March 7th, 2012
7:43 am

Being a southern girl over here from Louisiana but then around the world and now in Houston, I share your enthusiasm. A heartfelt congratulations to you! rileymadel.blogspot.com (Sarah)

PapaDoc

March 7th, 2012
9:30 am

Just took a class with her at Cook’s Warehouse and it was a blast. Learned a lot from her practical cooking advice, but more importantly, enjoyed her thoughtful and humorous comments on the world. Southern Living shows great wisdom in getting her on their team. I look forward to her contributions.

Grasshopper

March 7th, 2012
1:01 pm

Good for Virginia!

I had the pleasure of working with her on a project a few years ago and she was a class act. I can’t wait to see what she brings to Southern Living.

Jim Warren

March 7th, 2012
1:51 pm

All the best wishes to you!