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Basic to Brilliant, Y'All
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"150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company"

About the Author

Virginia Willis is a French-trained chef, television producer, food stylist, cooking teacher, and food writer. Formerly Martha Stewart Living's kitchen manager, she now makes her home in Atlanta, Georgia.

Reviews

"She's just a brilliant cook, y'all."
--The Austin Chronicle, 10/21/11

"This is a fabulous book. If you love authentic southern cooking prepared in a refined way then this is the book for you."
--Babble.com, Family Kitchen blog, 10/5/11 "Virginia Willis is like the Southern cousin you wish you had. . . Virginia's latest book, Basic to Brilliant, Y'all, is all about the "something extra special." Each recipe has a simple component--like the seared trout, and an optional brilliant flourish--like the topping of smoked trout salad. It's what makes this cookbook a real keeper (even if you have other Southern cookbooks). The recipes are fresh and modern and reflect both Virginia's Southern roots and her French training."
--Cooking with Amy, 9/26/11 "As Willis demonstrates with this vibrant, informative guide to Southern cuisine, great cookbooks can offer a window into their author's life. . . . By turns inspiring and appetizing, this work is a valuable resource for anyone interested in regional American cooking."
--Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW, 7/11/11 "The genius of Atlanta-based cookbook author Virginia Willis lies in her ability to weave together the distinct culinary worlds of France and the American South. . . . In this captivating book, she offers vivid tales from her life in food and a collection of mouthwatering recipes that can be approached two ways: basic and brilliant. Each basic recipe is followed by an endnote--often a clever presentation idea or recipe tweak--that lets you easily elevate the dish to brilliant so that it suits a special occasion. Whichever route you choose, chances are you'll return to these recipes time and again."
--Fine Cooking Magazine "Virginia Willis could cook a memorable meal from a sock and some twigs. Whether she's making southern food (her home turf) or French country dishes -- or helping you get ready for company as she does in this treasure of a book, Virginia is someone you want by your side in the kitchen."
--Amanda Hesser, co-founder of food52.com and author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook "A charming, gorgeous, and thoroughly practical guide to the best fundamental French techniques mixed with Willis's uniquely American saucy Southern style. An instant classic."
--Kathleen Flinn, author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry and The Kitchen Counter Cooking School "Virginia Willis is a natural teacher, a gift that shines in each of her carefully crafted and doable recipes. In Basic to Brilliant, Y'all, Virginia gives us a fresh, bright, beautiful book that beckons us into the kitchen to cook--daily,
happily, and very well."
--Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table

"Virginia Willis creates a refined Southern cuisine in Basic to Brilliant, Y'all, bringing you into her world through the pages of this gorgeous and inspiring book. A fellow Southern chef, she blossomed during her years in France and New York and returned empowered with culinary knowledge. Virginia has hit a home run with this exciting and wonderfully articulate book. It is destined to become a classic for anyone's culinary library--north or south of the Mason-Dixon line."
--Frank Stitt, chef-owner of Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega, and Chez Fonfon "Virginia Willis is amazing at putting that finishing polish on down-home Southern specialties that will fill your home with automatic hospitality."
--Bobby Flay, chef-owner of Mesa Grill, Bar Americain, and Bobby Flay Steak "Virginia Willis has married some of the most beloved Southern dishes with flawless technique. It is a match made in heaven. Home cooks who desire a collection of recipes for any day of the week will find just what they need. And those who want to put on some party clothes will be overjoyed! This book will spend plenty of time on my kitchen counter--and by my favorite reading chair. Really, y'all are going to love it!"
--Martha Foose, author of Screen Doors and Sweet Tea "Virginia Willis has done it again--created a totally unique, mouth-watering book of recipes, wisdom and charm. This is a book you will savor reading as well as cooking from."
--Nathalie Dupree, author of New Southern Cooking

"As a busy mom, I truly appreciate Virginia's Brilliant tips that accompany every recipe; many of them take only a few minutes more to transform ordinary family favorites to extraordinary, company-worthy centerpieces. From these tips, I've learned so many clever techniques, short recipes, and presentation ideas!"
--Jaden Hair, author of The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

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