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

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Shrimp Sells

Vivian and Ben head to the beach for their annual summer vacation with the Howard family. Vivian turns up the heat with a bit of friendly competition with her older sisters. Frogmore stew, cooked outside at the beach, of course. She visits a fish camp and learns the heads and tails of fresh shrimp. Back in Kinston, the devil is in the details as Vivian and Ben prepare to open their second restaurant, the Boiler Room, and controversy brews over the bun for the burgers.

  • 2020-07-09T09:30:00-07:00
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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.

  • 2020-07-14T09:30:00-07:00
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  • 2020-07-16T09:30:00-07:00
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Don't Tom Thumb Your Nose at Me! Part 1

Vivian, Ben and the entire Chef and the Farmer staff hustle to complete the preparations necessary for her luncheon at the Southern Foodways Alliance symposium in Oxford, Mississippi. At the center of her generation-spanning meal is the Tom Thumb, a pungent and rich sausage stuffed into a pig's appendix. As preparations get underway, the sheer math of the moment is astounding: four courses for 400 food writers and Southern food enthusiasts - 1,600 plates in the span of 90 minutes.

  • 2020-07-21T09:30:00-07:00
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  • 2020-07-23T09:30:00-07:00
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One Potato, New Potato

Join Vivian to judge the Southern Sides competition at the BBQ Festival, and see her version of the BBQ plate, featuring a crispy potato salad. When the Avett Brothers stop by the restaurant, the entire staff serves up a side of girly giddiness.

  • 2020-07-27T04:00:00-07:00
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Don't Tom Thumb Your Nose at Me! Part 2

The excitement of the night before turns into heightened emotion and real nerves for Vivian as she faces one challenge after another in the prep kitchen before the SFA luncheon. Wondering at the sanity of this undertaking, she's glad to have Chef Jason Vincent to lend some street cred to the whole endeavor. Rice almost brings Vivian to her breaking point, but everyone pulls together for the big event and her parents join her on stage for an emotional and watershed moment.

  • 2020-07-28T09:30:00-07:00
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  • 2020-07-30T09:30:00-07:00
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Honey, I'm Home!

After a visit from "The Honey Man," Vivian turns up the heat on a dish of chicken livers drizzled with hot honey. While Ben preps for his art show in Durham, Vivian descends on the "Bull City's" restaurant row to sample sweet, honey-themed dishes.

  • 2020-08-03T04:00:00-07:00
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Stop, Squash and Roll

With squash season in full effect, trouble with the twins, staffing issues at the Boiler Room and a new cookbook overloading her plate, Vivian seeks motherly advice from Mrs. Scarlett and her sister Johnna over a Southern classic: squash and onions.

  • 2020-08-04T09:30:00-07:00
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  • 2020-08-06T09:30:00-07:00
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