What does Julia Child, Martha Stewart and Paula Dean have in common? They’ve all worked with author, professional chef, food stylist and cooking reality show producer, Virginia Willis. The November 28, 2009 episode of The Healthtopia Radio Show features a fascinating interview where listeners got a sneak peek at the life of a professional chef from Atlanta who has enjoyed a varied career working with culinary celebrities and icons.
- Her thoughts on reality TV cooking shows (Not everyone should be on TV)
- Delightful anecdotes about the times she was able to spend with Julia Child in France
- Her controversial blog post about the movie Julie & Julia that landed her in The New York Times and on ABC News
- Advice for aspiring young chefs
-put yourself out there, be willing to volunteer, and never stop growing
-read, Letters to a Young Chef, by Daniel Boulud
- Tips for seasoning food
-sour, salt, bitter, sweet and savory–hit those points makes food delicious
-acid makes flavors pop
-season as you go, taste and think about what it needs before you
Listen to an exciting episode of The Healthtopia Radio Show to hear everything else Virginia Willis had to share about the publishing process, working with celebrities in Reality TV cooking shows, and launching her own signature line of products.
A graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne , Virginia Willis is also the author of, Bon Appétit, Y’all! Three Generations of Southern Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2008). She has served as the Kitchen Director for Martha Stewart Living Television, and Virginia was also responsible for preparing private meals and events for Martha and her guests including, President Clinton, Aretha Franklin, and Julia Child.
Virginia’s culinary career began in Atlanta as an apprentice to Nathalie Dupree. She also served as an editorial assistant with culinary authority Anne Willan.
She has served as Executive Producer for Epicurious on The Discovery Channel and other cooking shows, and her work has appeared in several local and national magazines. She has appeared on national cooking shows and in TV commercials. Willis is an accomplished cookbook author, TV producer, editor and food stylist. She serves as the president of the Atlanta chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and she serves on the board of several local Atlanta culinary associations.
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Mechelle says, “You must cater to the mental, physical and spiritual needs of an individual to achieve lasting change and progress,” She is also a life coach, and a motivational speaker who is having an impact on the weight loss industry by producing amazing results for hundreds of her clients.
Bonnie Mechelle’s 100 pound weight loss inspires the clients in her weight loss coaching program, corporate wellness plan and in her free Christian health and wellness e-Magazine for women.
- Here is Bonnie Mechelle’s book review of Bon Appétit, Y’all! Three Generations of Southern Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2008) by Virginia Willis:
Cookbook by Virginia Willis
“This beautifully styled book really has something to offer cooks from all skill levels. I enjoyed the wonderful and sometimes personal memories that Virginia shares. The recipes reflect the theme that the title suggests–a melding of the best elements of classic French cuisine with all of the warm, comforting elements of Southern cuisine. Willis’s love of food and family shines through every recipe and every page of this delightful cookbook. You’ll appreciate the flavor of these delicious recipes.”