Schnuck Markets, Inc
Famed Cookbook Author Virginia Willis To Visit Des Peres Schnucks
DES PERES, Mo. – Chef Virginia Willis, acclaimed author of Bon Appetit Y’all, the International Association of Culinary Professional’s (IACP) cookbook finalist for 2009, will teach two cooking classes at the Schnucks Cooks Cooking School in Des Peres (12332 Manchester Road) on Tuesday, Oct. 20. The first class is from 1 – 4 p.m. ($50 per student) and the second from 6 – 9 p.m. ($65 per student).
Willis’ first hands-on class will demonstrate a complete southern menu of crispy fried asparagus, Coca-Cola glazed chicken wings, deviled eggs and exotic mushroom and herb tart.
The second class is designed to offer a more intimate look into Willis’ cooking style. With some food prepared ahead, there will be more time to dialogue with the chef. Willis will share her own experiences growing up among great cooks and of her quest to become the master chef she is today.
There will also be a hands-on opportunities to cook such menu items as warm pecan-crusted goat cheese toasts with mixed baby greens, roasted beet salad with walnut oil, mustard-crusted pork loin with herb, pan sauce buttermilk cornbread, horseradish mashed potatoes and Meme’s blackberry cobbler.
Those interested in signing up for one of Willis’ classes can register online at www.schnuckscooks.com or call the Schnucks Cooks Cooking School directly at 314-909-1704. Class sizes are limited! Willis’ book will be available at Schnucks for $32.50.
Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc. operates 106 stores (including five Logli stores) and 103 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Tennessee and Mississippi.
A graduate of the L’Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine LaVerenne, Virginia is a classically trained French chef whose cookbook pays tribute to generations of cooks and family roots that run deep into the rich southern soil of Georgia.
Willis’ last visit to St. Louis was as a child accompanying her grandparents on summer trips across the country in their camper. She recalled, “I can remember my grandfather and me going up in the arch and it was great! We would also stop at national parks and gather berries which my grandmother would make into cobblers.”
“In Georgia, we have a 10-month growing season and great products,” Willis said. “I want people to want to cook, and if they use really good ingredients, it doesn’t have to be difficult. You just let the flavor of the food to shine through.” Willis says that most of the recipes in Bon Appetit Y’all involve only six ingredients and take 30 – 45 minutes to create and the techniques she uses are quite easy.
Willis commented on one of her favorites, the black eyed pea salad recipe, “I use a French technique that involves chopping all the veggies, the onion, corn, celery and tomato, all the same size as the black eyed peas.” She laughed, “However, in the South, we would typically cook them in hog jowls or fatback instead of shallot vinaigrette!”
Any way you cut it, Willis’ classes at Schnucks Cooks Cooking School will be both educational and entertaining – served up with a generous helping of southern flavor!
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