“Secrets of the Southern Table”

Join us as we welcome James Beard award winning cookbook author and celebrity chef Virginia Willis and her new cookbook, “Secrets of the Southern Table” to the Carnegie for a morning of delicious recipes, samples, how tos and fun!

Willis is one of the most respected names in the region’s cuisine and culture. In her new book, she features 80 crave-worthy recipes, stunning full-page photography, and journalistic profiles of local farmers, chefs and makers, chronicling the region’s exciting and evolving culinary scene.

SECRETS OF THE SOUTHERN TABLE is about more than just good food. Along with renowned photographer Angie Mosier, Willis traveled to 11 states in eight months across the four seasons, interviewing and photographing a wide variety of Southerners. The result is a showcase of the heart and soul of the region.

Willis talks agriculture with resident farmers, sustainable fishing with fishermen in Florida and South Carolina, bluegrass and barbacoa with local Kentuckians, and explores time-honored traditions like preserving fruits and vegetables, harvesting rice, and curing country ham. Through these accounts, Willis captures the beauty of the South and all of its people.

This wouldn’t be a Virginia Willis book without well-known classic recipes (i.e. Pimento Cheese Tomato Pie and Whole-Grain Parmesan Cheese Grits with Spinach and Shrimp) but the book also explores more adventuresome – but still accessible – dishes like Catfish Tacos with Avocado Crema, Mississippi-Style Char Siu Pork, and Greek Okra and Tomatoes that celebrate the many global influences that make up Southern cuisine today. Split into eight sections covering everything from “Grains, Grits, and Other Starchy Goodness” to “Gospel Birds and Game Birds,” and “Biscuits, Breads, and Hoecakes,” SECRETS OF THE SOUTHERN TABLE will give cooks irresistible new recipes for down-home cooking. Her spectacular biscuit spread is perfect inspiration for Mother’s Day brunch!

In honor of “Derby Day” (of which Virginia was guest chef at Churchill Downs’s exclusive “The Mansion” last year) Virginia will create themed recipes including a demo – and we’ll be serving up savory samples to program attendees.  Come enjoy one of the Carnegie’s favorite programs and a most entertaining and informative chef!

Book signing to follow.

Reservations requested (free) press here: Eventbrite

Georgia-born, French-trained chef VIRGINIA WILLIS is one of the most well-respected authorities on Southern cooking today. She is the author of five previous cookbooks, including the James Beard Award-winning Lighten Up, Y’all and is an editor-at-large for Southern Living. Her articles have appeared nationally including Food52, CNN, All Recipes, Country Living, Eating Well, Family Fun, and Fine Cooking.  The Chicago Tribune has named her one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Willis lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sponsored by the Edgar B. Hollis Testamentary Trust in partnership with the Newnan Carnegie Library Foundation