Virginia Willis Shares Secrets of the Southern Table in Debut TV Series

| February 15, 2016

virginia willis

The Lisa Ekus Group is pleased to announce that Southern cooking authority and writer Virginia Willis and public media powerhouse WGBH are in development of a TV series to air nationally on public television stations.

SECRETS OF THE SOUTHERN TABLE: A Food Lovers Tour of the Global South™ is a 13-episode, half-hour cooking and travel show that showcases the cuisine of the traditional South with the vibrant new cooking of the modern South. Virginia is a nationally recognized, French-trained chef whose style of cooking is defined as “refined Southern cuisine,” a potent blend of classic technique, balanced flavors, and a keen sense of tradition.

Laurie Donnelly, WBGH Executive Producer for Lifestyles and Special Projects calls Virginia Willis “…a tremendous talent and with this series we are showing a side of Southern cuisine that viewers have not been exposed to before – the true food secrets of the South.” Boston-based WGBH-TV is the long-time home of The French Chef, Julia Child’s acclaimed television show, a leader in creating educational content, and PBS’s single largest producer for television, web, and mobile.

SECRETS OF THE SOUTHERN TABLE: A Food Lovers Tour of the Global South™ brings to life the rich culture and multi-faceted stories behind Southern food and cooking. Virginia will visit Southern farmers, artisans and producers, sharing their stories and the ways in which they impact the landscape of Southern cuisine.  The series is an exploration of centuries-old ancient foodways and bold new direction from immigrants and international influences, showing viewers that the food of the South is equally catfish and churrasco, barbecue and bulgogi, cheese grits and curried goat.

About Virginia Willis
Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis has cooked Lapin Normandie with Julia Child in France, prepared lunch for President Clinton, catered a bowling party for Jane Fonda, and harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily – but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen.

Virginia is the author of Bon Appétit, Y’all, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, and Lighten Up, Y’all for Ten Speed Press as well as Okra, part of the UNC press SAVOR THE SOUTH® series, and Grits by Short Stack Editions. Named by the Chicago Tribune as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know,” her fans love her knack for giving classic French dishes a down-home comfort feel and reimagining Southern favorites.

She’s a contributing editor for Southern Living and creator of Down-Home Comfort on Her work has appeared on and, as well as in Eating Well, Fine Cooking, and All Recipes. She has been featured in the Washington Post, USA Today, Tasting Table, Serious Eats, Country Living, and House Beautiful, and quoted in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, as a judge on Bobby Flay’s Throwdown, and Martha Stewart Living Television. Learn more about Virginia and follow her culinary and travel exploits at

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