Next Episode of A Chef's Life is
A Chef's Life is a Peabody and Emmy award-winning docu-series that plunges audiences into the kitchen of a high-end restaurant located in the low country of eastern North Carolina. It follows the trials and travails of Chef Vivian Howard and her husband, Ben Knight, and their farm-to-table restaurant, Chef & the Farmer, exploring both traditional and modern applications of quintessential Southern ingredients. Vivian's skill in the kitchen is an equal match for the charismatic personality, radiating behind her crystal grey eyes. Much more dynamic than a typical cooking show, A Chef's Life is a character-driven documentary and cooking series that premiered nationally on PBS stations in September 2013.
Vivian and her husband Ben leave New York to open a restaurant in her small North Carolina hometown. Vivian revisits the Southern tradition of "putting up" corn and shares her method for making smoked corn relish. As the episode concludes, a devastating setback threatens their new life.
Vivian and Ben rebuild their restaurant against the backdrop of the Southern harbinger of spring, the strawberry. Their twins go on their first strawberry picking excursion and Vivian and a friend develop a recipe for Coconut Cornbread Strawberry Shortcake with Basil whipped cream.
The restaurant gears up for a practice service where the new equipment and new menu will be tested in real time – but nothing is going as planned. One of the big changes to the restaurant's menus is the addition of a section called "Pimp My Grits," where Vivian exalts the lowly, quintessentially Southern ingredient in four distinct ways.
Vivian goes about christening the restaurant's new "whole animal, no waste" program with two little pigs from Warren Brothers' farm. She uses everything – including the skin – and shows us, upon her father's recommendation, how to make her version of sweet potatoes with cracklins.
Vivian preps for a Southern Foodways Alliance luncheon. Food enthusiasts from around the country are coming to study BBQ & Vivian plans to serve them the ultimate tomato sandwich. She weighs the risk of serving something so simple to this discerning crowd, but in her gut she believes it will be the highlight of their trip.
Vivian and Ben go to Cedar Island to explore the new culture of farm-raised oysters in NC. Vivian shares their plans of opening an oyster bar across the street from Chef and the Farmer & orchestrates with her dad, their first ever family oyster roast. She is blown away by how much everyone enjoys it.
Ben, Vivian & the twins pick muscadine grapes at a small local vineyard while learning the history of this native grape. Vivian visits Mike & Gator, to make homemade wine. Back at the restaurant, Vivian makes a pizza with mulled muscadines, and Ben tests this new creation during their first stressful pizza night in the wine shop.
Vivian travels to Columbia, SC to meet with Glenn Roberts of Anson Mills where he explains their efforts to save heirloom grains. Glenn's passion inspires Vivian to host a "rice dinner", where each course centers around this grain. Scarlett, Vivian's mom, schools her daughter on making Chicken & Rice.
Vivian visits neighbor Marty Harper's peanut farm just before & during harvest. Vivian's dad introduces Ben & Vivian to an old school snack-break, a pack of salted peanuts dumped into a glass Pepsi bottle. At the restaurant, Vivian translates the snack into Pepsi glazed pork belly with country ham braised peanuts. Vivian reinvents, the popular Southern snack, boiled peanuts for the local farmer's market.
Vivian visits Tull Hill Farm, one of the largest sweet potato farms in the country. She makes her grandmother's candied yams with her mom & niece. Vivian re-imagines these for the restaurant with bacon, sorghum & pecans. The restaurant teams up with Mother Earth Brewing for a beer & sweet potato dinner.
Vivian spends the morning with her neighbors participating in their 100 year old family tradition of making collard kraut. She visits Warren to talk about an Eastern Carolina favorite, the Cabbage Collard. Vivian prepares for Terra Vita where she makes collards the star they deserve to be.
Vivian & Ben go to Maple View Farm to pick up product for the restaurant. The dairy manager shows them around & talks buttermilk. Lillie Hardy schools Vivian on buttermilk biscuits at Warren Brothers's house. After finding her great-grandmother's butter churn, Vivian & her family desperately try to make buttermilk.
Vivian & Ben visit Broadslab Distillery where they talk about the art & soul of white lightning. The restaurant's mixologist works moonshine into a few new drinks while the staff takes on the holiday party season. They end the season with a party of their own at Ben & Vivian's new house where AppleJack Moonshine Cocktails make a guest appearance.
Vivian Howard (Host)
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