If you don't pass through Kinston all that often -- and it's 90 minutes just to get there from Raleigh -- you may not have had a chance to stop at The Chef & the Farmer, the from-the-heart restaurant by chef Vivian Howard (above) and her husband, Ben Knight. I wrote a column about Howard's smart cooking last fall, and since then, I've heard from several friends who have made the trek and loved the place as much as I did.
Now Howard is about to make her TV debut, in a PBS series "A Chef's Life" that will debut in September. The story is about how Howard works with local farmers in Eastern N.C. to get the ingredients she uses in the restaurant, and about her life: She and Knight, an artist, left New York several years ago to open a restaurant in Kinston, her home town. They're raising twins while operating a restaurant in an unlikely place. And they've faced tough odds: The restaurant was badly damaged in a fire two years ago, and had to rebuild.
From PBS' description: "Using a chef's modern sensibilities, Vivian explores Southern cuisine, past and present -- one ingredient at a time. A celebration of true farm to table food."
"A Chef's Life" debuts on PBS stations Sept. 13. Watch for it. And if you haven't been to The Chef & the Farmer . . . I have a hunch you might want to book a table soon.
Photo Credit: Rex Miller