Chef Vivian Howard with cast at supper.

"A Chef's Life" is a new food/reality series featuring Chef Vivian Howard. Vivian was making a name for herself in New York City, when her father, a hog farmer, offered to get her started in her own restaurant. The catch? It would be located in her home town, a place she swore she would never return: the Deep South. The series plunges audiences into the kitchen of the restaurant Chef and The Farmer, a highbrow restaurant located in Kinston, NC, one of the most impoverished communities in the U.S. When Vivian arrives home, she begs local farmers to grow fennel, lemongrass and Jerusalem artichokes --- none of which are native to the region. Soon, she realizes that the cooking techniques she learned in New York could be applied to her "grandmother's ingredients," the bounty grown by local farmers. Vivian's recipes are exquisitely assembled to bring out the best in the locally grown fresh ingredients. This is real "southern cooking," anyone can implement into their own lives. Six years in, Vivian has become a pillar in this small community, with the restaurant winning accolades across the country. As the series opens, she and her husband Ben are juggling the business and raising twins, when a devastating kitchen fire destroys the restaurant overnight. What happens next is a true testament to Southern grit.

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Sweet Corn & Expensive Tea

Chef 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.

  • 2020-04-02T09:30:00-07:00
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Strawberry Stay at Home

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.

  • 2020-04-07T09:30:00-07:00
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  • 2020-04-09T09:30:00-07:00
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My Watermelon Baby

The heat is high and watermelons are ripe. After a summer away from the restaurant, Vivian returns to a staff of unfamiliar faces and works to build camaraderie. She employs an avid home cook to put recipes from her forthcoming cookbook to the test.

  • 2020-04-13T04:00:00-07:00
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Pimp My Grits

The restaurant gears up for a practice service when 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.

  • 2020-04-14T09:30:00-07:00
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  • 2020-04-16T09:30:00-07:00
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Peas, Please

As a visit from her editor accelerates book preparations, Vivian reckons with handing over the restaurant reins to John and Justise. A tutorial in "beatin' peas," delivered by a 92-year-old expert, is an entertaining and therapeutic history lesson.

  • 2020-04-20T04:00:00-07:00
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Cracklin' Kitchen

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, on her father's recommendation, demonstrates how to make sweet potatoes with cracklins.

  • 2020-04-21T09:30:00-07:00
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  • 2020-04-23T09:30:00-07:00
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Stand By Your Cabbage

Vivian's summer itinerary picks up with a 14-day photoshoot as she preps for a first-time trip to Feast Portland. Before heading out west, Sam Jones and Miss Lillie share old school cabbage recipes that influence the dish she prepares for festival goers. While on the road, Vivian trusts John and Justise to hold down the fort back home.

  • 2020-04-27T04:00:00-07:00
    KCET-HD

Tomatoes....You Say Heirloom, I Say Old Timey

Mary Vaughn shows Chef Vivian the old-timey way to can tomatoes. Vivian prepares for a Southern Foodways Alliance luncheon at the restaurant where food enthusiasts from around the country are coming to study BBQ, and Vivian plans to serve them the "ultimate tomato sandwich."

  • 2020-04-28T09:30:00-07:00
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  • 2020-04-30T09:30:00-07:00
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