A self-described “sturdy girl” since childhood, Virginia’s career of cooking, eating, and drinking plus work and relationship challenges created a high-risk lifestyle with inevitable mental and physical health problems. Stressed, depressed, and faced with the need to lose 65+ pounds she reached a point of desperation and set out to change it. It’s down to Earth can-do with a heaping side of weight loss inspiration. Virginia will share recipes from her James Beard Award-winning cookbook and you will also learn real life good and good-for-you tips for healthy eating and how to add doable stress-reducing techniques to your life.
There will be samples for the palate, demonstrated by Chef Virginia, as an additional benefit to a super presentation!
Georgia-born French-trained chef Virginia Willis has foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in the smoldering volcano in Sicily, and executed the food styling for a Super Bowl commercial. She is a James Beard award-winning cookbook author and chef for Food Network Kitchen. In 2019 Virginia lost 65 pounds and has kept it off. Her health journey has been documented in Eating Well, as a cover story for Woman’s World, Allrecipes, and AARP. Virginia has embraced her new outlook on life and says, “If a French-trained Southern chef can do it, you can, too!” Her cookbooks include Fresh Start: Cooking with Virginia My Real Life Daily Guide to Healthy Eating and Weight Loss; Secrets of the Southern Table, Lighten Up, Y’all, Bon Appétit, Y’all, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, Okra, and Grits. She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree. She has appeared on Alex vs America, The Rachel Ray Show, Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She has also been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52, Eating Well, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.”