A food/reality series featuring Chef Vivian Howard. 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 US. 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.
Apples (#206H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
As Vivian returns from her Mississippi trip, she confronts her long absence from the dinner service at Chef and the Farmer. She visits an heirloom apple tree collector, Creighton Leigh, the Johnny Appleseed of the southern apple, who grows 800 varieties in the rolling hills of North Carolina's Piedmont. Savory and sweet heirloom apples make an appearance on the menu. Vivian, Ben, Theo and Flo don boots and grab shovels to plant their own southern apple tree on their Deep Run property.
The Fish Episode, Y'all (#207H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
Obviously, It's Pecans (#208H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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. "
Turnips - The Roots (#209H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
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.
Turnips - The Greens (#210H) Duration: 26:16 STEREO TVG
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.
Chicken Lickin (#211H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
As Vivian waits for spring's vegetables to appear, she pauses to appreciate chicken's endless capacity as an ingredient. The restaurant's new best-seller is a whole chicken, pounded and stuffed with broccoli salad. An old family friend fries a chicken the old-fashioned way, served with a side of banana sandwiches. Spring brings the twins' birthday, and Vivian can't help but go over the top with celebrations, including the Cadillac of chicken coops to house Theo and Flo's new baby chicks.
Ramp-Ing Up to Spring (#212H) Duration: 26:46 STEREO TVG
Vivian hunts for ramps - Appalachian wild leeks - with renowned bacon purveyor Alan Benton near his home in the Tennessee countryside. Vivian's "ramp dealer" brings her his freshest stash, foraged from the North Carolina mountains. Proud grandparents watch as Theo and Flo show off a piglet and a baby goat at the county agriculture show. Vivian uses ramps like a spring onion, making a compound butter and pimped grits, and serving up grilled ramps, pickled ramps and sauteed ramps at a dinner party.