We had the good fortune of connecting with virginia willis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi virginia, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
There’s much to be said for persistence. When I am determined I am relentless and will continue trying until I succeed – or eventually realize it’s a bad idea. Persistence is staying determined, staying focused on goals both small and large.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Wasn’t quite certain what to grab in the category toggle, yet Art/Creative speaks loudest to me. I create food, I create words, I create content, I create recipes. I am fortunate in my small business and brand that I am able to do many different things centered around food. Granted, sometimes it can be hectic, but I am thrilled with the variety of my work. My face-forward brand is personal — my stories, my recipes, my social videos. Behind the scenes, my company handles corporate recipe development, cookbook editing, ghost-writing, recipe testing, and more. I am also the co-founder of Culinary Media Trainings & Productions with Emmy nominated Cynthia Graubart. We media train and specialize in food video production.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In the age of COVID, my habits have certainly changed and in many ways for the better. My social activities have moved outside. I walk every morning with a different friend at Cochran Shoals on the Northside. It’s a flat 3-mile gravel track alongside the Chattahoochee. A more adventurous walk might be to hike Kennesaw Mountain or to the bamboo forest in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area’s East Palisades trail. There are many lovely parks available all over Atlanta for walking in addition to the beltline.
I’m dying to go to the VanGogh exhibit. The Atlanta History Center is fantastic and the Atlanta Botanical Garden is phenomenal.
We have so many great restaurants and I have just started dining out again. I love the international foods we have in Atlanta. Buford Highway is a treasure, but there are pockets of deliciousness all over the city. I love to take friends and out-of-town guests for a Korean foot massage at Harmony Spa off Chamblee Tucker. Next door is a Mediterranean Bakery and they have the best baba ganoush in Atlanta.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have been fortunate to be one of culinary legend Nathalie Dupree’s chickens. During her 50 plus year career as a best-selling cookbook author Nathalie has taught legions of cooks including culinary professionals such as myself, cookbook author and Southern Living contributor Rebecca Lang, and award-winning food scientist Shirley Corriher. (Her protégés are famously nicknamed “her chickens.”) She also introduced me to my dear friend and business partner, Cynthia Graubart. Her mentorship has been invaluable. I cherish our relationship.
Traveling in Montana at Glacier National Park – Virginia B Willis On set with Peaches – Debi Loftis On set for Food Network Kitchen – Food Network Kitchen Lobbying Zoom for No Kid Hungry — No Kid Hungry