Your Foodie Friday Fork-cast

Welcome to Foodie Friday Fork-cast with Patrick Evans-Hylton, a delicious look at the week ahead in Hampton Roads.

CELEBRITY CHEF BOOKSIGNINGS

Celebrity Chef Virginia Willis will be coming to Hampton Roads next week, making appearances, signing books, and giving tips to area culinary students.

Willis has just released a new cookbook, “Lighten Up Y’all.”

On Tuesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 1, Willis will stop by two locations of gourmet grocer Taste.

Look for her at the Bayville Farms store (4097 Shore Dr., Virginia Beach) on March 31 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m., and at the flagship Norfolk store (6464 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk) from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.

If you are a student or alumni of Culinary Institute of Virginia, Willis will be at the Norfolk campus on April 1 from 11 a.m. to noon signing books and talking about her successful career as a chef.

Willis, a graduate of of L’Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne, is a popular Southern food authority and writer, she is the author of Bon Appétit, Y’all and Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, Okra, and Grits, in addition to her latest work, Lighten Up, Y’all, which celebrates the healthy and wholesome side of Southern fare.

She is also a regular blogger for FoodNetwork.com, as well as her own popular blog, www.VirginiaWillis.com. She was as an apprentice for Nathalie Dupree’s TV cooking show on PBS as well as Kitchen Director for Martha Stewart and Bobby Flay.

CHEERS TO THE BARREL ROOM

The Barrel Room

The Barrel Room, a restaurant with extensive craft beer offerings, opens tomorrow (Saturday, 28 March) in downtown Norfolk.

A full menu features dishes with American, Italian and Asian influences along with pub grub favorites.

Two whiskey barrels are incorporated in the design of the bar, hence the eatery’s name. In addition to a focus on brews (general manager Mike Lindenmuth is president of the Virginia Craft Beer Society), The Barrel Room will also have a full bar with a selection of quality whiskeys, bourbons, scotches and a diverse wine list.

The Barrel Room is at 437 Granby St., Norfolk. Call 757-625-2337

Patrick Evans-Hylton is a Johnson & Wales-trained chef and award-winning food journalist.

He has reported on food in print, television, radio and social media since 1995, including being senior editor for food and wine at Coastal Virginia Magazine. His latest cookbook is Dishing Up Virginia.

Evans-Hylton is a regular contributor to hrScene and The Hampton Roads Show. He blogs at www.PatrickEvansHylton.com