Tuesday, June 11, 2013

World, get ready to meet Vivian Howard

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


Anonymous said...

The Chef and the Farmer is a top notch restaurant tucked away in quaint Kinston, NC. It should be a destination for anyone who loves inventive, delicious food. Just writing about it makes my mouth water and makes me long for the best beet salad I have ever tasted!

Anonymous said...

My son and daughter-in-law and I had a special anniversary/birthday dinner there recently, and it was a truly fine experience. The food was obviously prepared by food perfectionistis. The service was the best anywhere. A hidden gem, well worth the trip and the price.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear from both of you. I love hearing that people love a place I enjoyed. I think Vivian and Ben have built something very special.

Anonymous said...

I am extremely happy for Vivian! She has always been a top notch type of girl, even since we were young girls having pool party playdates at her house, you could tell she'd be going places! She just keeps reaching for the stars and I couldn't be happier for such an amazing cousin. She deserves it! :-)

Anonymous said...


A Great American Family. A Great American Story.

#DeepRun, NC