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

Love Me Some Candied Yams!

Vivian introduces viewers to Rob and Amy Hill, proprietors of one of the largest sweet potato farms in the country and two of the restaurant's best customers. Vivian and her mom, Scarlett, make her grandmother's candied yams, and Vivian later re-imagines these for the restaurant with texture, sorghum and pecans. Mother Earth Brewery and Chef & the Farmer team up for a beer dinner, featuring first-of-the-season sweet potatoes.

  • 2020-06-02T09:30:00-07:00
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  • 2020-06-04T09:30:00-07:00
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Collard Green Queen

Vivian spends the morning with her neighbors, the Mills brothers, participating in their 100-year-old all-male family tradition of making collard kraut. Vivian visits Warren at Brother's farm to talk about the Eastern Carolina ingredient with a cult following, the cabbage collard. Vivian prepares for an event called Terra Vita, where she will serve three courses to 100 people and make collards the star they deserve to be.

  • 2020-06-09T09:30:00-07:00
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  • 2020-06-11T09:30:00-07:00
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Onions and Avetts

Spring onions kick off the season as Vivian takes a break from penning her first cookbook to prepare dinner for beginner farmers. Though the Avett Brothers make an appearance, the underdog spring onion steals the show, playing both star and support.

  • 2020-06-15T04:00:00-07:00
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The Buttermilk Belt

Vivian and Ben go to Maple View Dairy to pick up product for the restaurant. They talk buttermilk with the dairy's manager, and the noise Ben makes while savoring his cup of the thick liquid annoys his wife. The couple attempts to shoot the twins' Christmas card picture in the family's swimming-pool-turned-turnip patch, while Vivian's nieces and nephews desperately try to make buttermilk with their great-grandmother's butter churn.

  • 2020-06-16T09:30:00-07:00
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  • 2020-06-18T09:30:00-07:00
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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.

  • 2020-06-22T04:00:00-07:00
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Have Yourself Some Moonshine

Vivian visits Broad Slab Distillery, where they talk about the art and soul of white lightning. The restaurant's mixologist works moonshine into several new drinks, while the restaurant staff struggles through the holiday party season. They end the season with a party of their own at Ben and Vivian's new house, with AppleJack Moonshine cocktails making a guest appearance.

  • 2020-06-23T09:30:00-07:00
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  • 2020-06-25T09:30:00-07:00
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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.

  • 2020-06-29T04:00:00-07:00
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Blueberries and Boiling Over

After a year recovering from a restaurant fire and re-opening Chef and the Farmer, Vivian and Ben open a burger/oyster bar called the Boiler Room. Vivian boils over with the stress of staffing adjustments, testing new menu concepts and the task of putting 500 pounds of blueberries to good use. She dons a hairnet and bubbles with excitement at the sight of her blueberry BBQ sauce hitting the assembly line. The staff of Chef and the Farmer finally lets off some steam with a growler cocktail and a blueberry BBQ water park extravaganza.

  • 2020-06-30T09:30:00-07:00
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