Secrets of the Southern Table TV Series
Secrets of the Southern Table™
I am thrilled to announce I am partnering with public media powerhouse WGBH-TV for the development of “Secrets of the Southern Table™: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South” to air nationally on public television stations.
My first job in a professional kitchen was as an apprentice on a TV cooking show hosted by my dear friend and mentor, Nathalie Dupree. At the time I wanted to go to culinary school and upon graduation, open a bed and breakfast. Nathalie dissuaded me with these words of wisdom, “it’s a lot of sheets.”
TV Cooking Shows
I continued on, before and after culinary school, working in restaurants both here and in France, yet my career kept leading me to where it first started, working behind the scenes of TV cooking shows. I absolutely love working on food TV. I love the brisk pace, I love the teamwork, I love sharing the knowledge, telling the stories, and effectively helping home cooks learn to cook. I’ve worked as the Kitchen Director for Martha Stewart and Bobby Flay and as the producer for Epicurious TV on the Discovery Channel with Michael Lomonaco as well as Home Plate on Turner South with Marvin Woods.
As a food writer, I do many different things and “wear a lot of hats.” The two aspects of my work I love the most are telling the stories and teaching. It’s what I loved most about running the TV kitchens and producing the cooking shows — telling stories and teaching people about food and cooking.
My new series, Secrets of the Southern Table™, will allow me to tell the real stories about real Southern cooking, to share real recipes, and to share real people. With this series I will endeavor to reveal underexposed communities, their foodways, and their values. I solidly believe that everything that we do – what religion we practice, our level of education, our morals, and our sense of ethics is reflected in what appears on the end of our forks. We are truly what we eat.
I want to share the South I know, the real South. Secrets of the Southern Table™ will expand people’s culinary landscape, feature the unexpected, and look beyond the stereotypes and misinterpretations. From white linen formal to farm table to well-worn Formica, there’s world-class food in the South. The country is embracing Southern food — and learning that what defines Southern food has evolved and changed. The food of the South is equally catfish and churrasco, barbecue and bulgogi, cheese grits and curried goat.
We’re currently in sponsorship negotiations and will shoot and produce Secrets of the Summer Table this summer and fall. We anticipate the show premiering in the first quarter of 2017 — and a companion cookbook to follow shortly thereafter.
I’ve been dreaming of this — and working hard for this — for a very, very long time. The response to the Eater article and the press release has been overwhelming and amazing. Many thanks everyone for your support.
Bon Appétit Y’all!
Want to keep up with my culinary wanderings and wonderings?
Copyright © 2016 Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc.
Photographs by Angie Mosier and Gena Berry
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