Cookbook cover for SECRETS OF THE SOUTHERN TABLE: A Food Lover's Tour of the Global South

SECRETS OF THE SOUTHERN TABLE: A Food Lover’s Tour of the Global South

Virginia Willis

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
May 1, 2018
ISBN-13: 978-0544932548


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 the author of the “Cooking with Virginia” column on 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.

From the rolling hills and hollows in Appalachia to the flat salt marshes of South Carolina to an urban farm in metro-Atlanta, the South has a strong tradition of good food and generous hospitality. The region is well known for fried chicken, grits, and biscuits (and there are irresistible recipes for those inside this book), but there are some Southern foodways that many may find surprising: There have been Chinese Americans living in the Mississippi Delta since the 1800s; at one time more Italians lived in New Orleans than New York City; and an Atlanta suburb is known as the “Seoul of the South.” The South is rich in cultural diversity and the food of the modern global South reflects this.

Here, with her signature charm and wit, chef and award-winning cookbook author Virginia Willis shares a one-of-a-kind collection of classic and new recipes: Pimento Cheese Tomato-Herb Pie, Chicken and Butterbean Paella, West African Chicken Stew, Greek Okra and Tomatoes, Mississippi-Style Char Siu Pork Tenderloin, Brown Butter and Thyme Whole-Grain Cornbread, Catfish Tacos with Avocado Crema, and much more. Along the way, she introduces you to the Southern farmers, purveyors, chefs, and small-business owners who are growing and making this extraordinary food.

Stunning documentary photography by renowned Southern photographer Angie Mosier transports you across the South and the seasons to Florida’s gulf coast, the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, and the farms and fields of Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, the Carolinas, Texas, and Tennessee. Together, these stories and the recipes that accompany them celebrate the delicious diversity and ever-evolving heritage of Southern cooking.