Eastern NC Chef Vivian Howard Finalist For James Beard Award For 'A Chef's Life'

Sep 12, 2013

Vivian Howard owns the restaurant Chef and the Farmer with her husband Ben Knight.
Credit Vivian Howard

Working in famous New York City restaurants, Vivian Howard swore she’d never move back to her home state of North Carolina.  Then, in 2005, when she decided to open her restaurant, her family offered financial help with a catch: She had to open the restaurant near her home town.

"I was against it," she remembers.

But Howard and her husband Ben Knight wound up moving to the 20,000-population city of Kinston, N.C., and opened an upscale restaurant.

The couple documented their journey, and the resulting program, PBS' A Chef's Life, is now a finalist for a 2014 James Beard Award for Best Television Program, On Location.

Vivian Howard talked with WUNC's Dick Gordon in 2013. She said at the time that she was surprised by how much she enjoys dressing up Southern staples like okra, corn, bacon and oysters in her restaurant Chef and the Farmer.

Listen to their conversation: