Chef Vivian Howard with cast at supper.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T The Butterbean

Burgers. Oysters. Beer. Vivian and Ben are on the cusp of opening their new restaurant, the Boiler Room, and they're facing a new challenge: how to make a veggie burger stand out. Vivian chooses the beloved butterbean as the star of her new burger, but quickly learns that the bean is a straight up diva - the Aretha Franklin of the legume family - when it comes to growing conditions. After a wet spring, Warren's patch is abysmal, but with the help of onions and gouda, eggplant and garlic, Vivian's butterbean burger is the talk of opening night.

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Obviously, It's Pecans

It's November, y'all, and that means it's busy at Chef and the Farmer. Vivian is feeling the stress of running the restaurant after suspending her sous chef and preparing for her own Thanksgiving feast. She and Ms. Scarlett head to Ms. Scarlett's family farm where they source their pecans and have a run-in with Uncle Dwight's wild boar. On Thanksgiving, dozens of people assemble in Ben and Vivian's Deep Run home. The only thing missing is the Thanksgiving turkey. As Ben puts it, "Sometimes you eat the turkey. Sometimes the turkey eats you. "

  • 2020-10-25T08:00:00-07:00
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  • 2020-11-02T03:00:00-08:00
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The Fish Episode, Y'all

Vivian presents a few of the many ways fish makes its appearance in southern cooking. She learns the rules of a good Eastern North Carolina fish stew: Make it a social event. Use whole hog bacon. Resist your urge to stir! And most important, start crackin' eggs and don't forget a side of white bread. Vivian goes to the source of all things seafood with a fishing trip with Ms. Lillie and Mary on beautiful Emerald Isle.

  • 2020-10-26T04:00:00-07:00
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Turnips - The Roots

Rainy winters can yield some dull vegetable varieties, few more unglamorous than the turnip. Nevertheless, Vivian is determined to showcase this root vegetable. She features her winter rolls with pickled turnips at a charity dinner with James Beard Award-winner Ashley Christiansen and other notable chefs from the region. She frets over whether her roll is sexy enough to stand up to the opulent surroundings, amidst such distinguished company. Despite her misgivings, the roll is a head turner and Vivian manages to make some new friends.

  • 2020-11-01T07:00:00-08:00
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  • 2020-11-09T03:00:00-08:00
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Turnips - The Greens

Late winter brings "run-up" turnip greens, which Vivian sees as central to her approach to Southern food, capturing both the spirit and the letter of what Chef and the Farmer is all about. Ms. Scarlett helps out by procuring greens from a local produce stand, washing them four times and discussing the how-to of buying and cooking good turnips to satisfy her "Southern people." Vivian downs a "cocktail for courage" as she awaits the arrival of Ben and Karen Barker, her culinary heroes. Her nerves are for naught - the Barkers are her big fans.

  • 2020-11-16T03:00:00-08:00
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