A Chef's Life

A Chef's Life

2013 - 2017, Reality, Cookery
Chef Vivian Howard explores farm-fresh cooking in North Carolina.

Episode Guide

  • A Chef's Life - Sneak Peek -- Season 5 (Season 5 Episode 56)
    Season 5 Episode 56:

    Sneak Peek -- Season 5

  • A Chef's Life - King Cornbread (Season 5 Episode 10)
    Season 5 Episode 10:

    King Cornbread

    "Pig and a puppy" merges corn bread with another Southern staple; corn bread cook-off.

  • A Chef's Life - Liver Lover (Season 5 Episode 9)
    Season 5 Episode 9:

    Liver Lover

    A simple beef liver and onions recipe inspires Vivian to add a fancy liver dish to the menu.

  • A Chef's Life - Chasing Trout (Season 5 Episode 8)
    Season 5 Episode 8:

    Chasing Trout

    Vivian volunteers at a soup kitchen and does a book signing; preparing a Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner that features trout.

  • A Chef's Life - Persimmon Style (Season 5 Episode 7)
    Season 5 Episode 7:

    Persimmon Style

    The different varieties of persimmon; a pudding lesson from chef Bill Smith of Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • A Chef's Life - Bourbon Country (Season 5 Episode 6)
    Season 5 Episode 6:

    Bourbon Country

    A dinner honoring Vivian; the differences between whiskey, scotch and bourbon; how Frank and Jesse James fit into Kentucky's boozy biography.

  • A Chef's Life - Wanted: Broccoli (Season 5 Episode 5)
    Season 5 Episode 5:

    Wanted: Broccoli

    Vivian heads to a book launch in New York; food truck is readied for Nashville, Tenn.; a challenging hunt for broccoli.

  • A Chef's Life - A Food Truck and a Pear Tree (Season 5 Episode 4)
    Season 5 Episode 4:

    A Food Truck and a Pear Tree

    The crew makes a practice run with the new food truck; pear relish.

  • A Chef's Life - Prolific Peppers (Season 5 Episode 3)
    Season 5 Episode 3:

    Prolific Peppers

    Prepping peppers; stuffing peppers.

  • A Chef's Life - Shake, Rattle, and Pole (Beans) (Season 5 Episode 2)
    Season 5 Episode 2:

    Shake, Rattle, and Pole (Beans)

    Vivian struggles to find enough green beans to add to the menu; Mrs. Tessie Mae offers a golf cart tour of her garden, an introduction to pickled pork and demonstrates snapping pole beans.

  • A Chef's Life - Two-mato (Season 5 Episode 1)
    Season 5 Episode 1:


    Vivian Howard searches for ripe tomatoes to serve at the restaurant's 10th birthday celebration; preparing an old school tomato dish.

  • A Chef's Life - Mayo -- The Mother Sauce (Season 4 Episode 10)
    Season 4 Episode 10:

    Mayo -- The Mother Sauce

    A blind taste test of mayonnaise; strange events affect Vivian's long-held vacation plans.

  • A Chef's Life - Heavenly Hocks (Season 4 Episode 9)
    Season 4 Episode 9:

    Heavenly Hocks

    The hot and cold of curing ham; pig tails, ham hocks and fatback.

  • A Chef's Life - All Sunchoked Up (Season 4 Episode 8)
    Season 4 Episode 8:

    All Sunchoked Up

    The twins' preschool class visits the restaurant; Vivian seeks guidance for her sunchoke recipe.

  • A Chef's Life - More Than One Way to Skin a Catfish (Season 4 Episode 7)
    Season 4 Episode 7:

    More Than One Way to Skin a Catfish

    An up-close experience with farm-raised catfish; the crew is emotional when a staff member's last day arrives.

  • A Chef's Life - Rabbit (Season 4 Episode 6)
    Season 4 Episode 6:


    Protesters object to Vivian's rabbit demo at the Carolina Meat Conference; a staff member prepares to leave the restaurant.

  • A Chef's Life - Cabbage's Last Stand (Season 4 Episode 5)
    Season 4 Episode 5:

    Cabbage's Last Stand

    Vivian explores Portland, Ore., before making her barbecue cabbage at Feast Portland.

  • A Chef's Life - Stand by Your Cabbage (Season 4 Episode 4)
    Season 4 Episode 4:

    Stand by Your Cabbage

    Vivan prepares for her first trip to Feast Portland; old-school cabbage recipes.

  • A Chef's Life - Peas, Please (Season 4 Episode 3)
    Season 4 Episode 3:

    Peas, Please

    A 92-year-old offers an entertaining tutorial in "beatin' peas."

  • A Chef's Life - My Watermelon Baby (Season 4 Episode 2)
    Season 4 Episode 2:

    My Watermelon Baby

    A home cook tests out recipes from Vivian Howard's cookbook.

  • A Chef's Life - Onions and Avetts (Season 4 Episode 1)
    Season 4 Episode 1:

    Onions and Avetts

    A dinner for beginner farmers features spring onions; The Avett Brothers.

  • A Chef's Life - One Potato, New Potato (Season 3 Episode 13)
    Season 3 Episode 13:

    One Potato, New Potato

    Southern Sides competition at the BBQ Festival; crispy potato salad; the Avett Brothers visit the restaurant.

  • A Chef's Life - What's Your Beef? (Season 3 Episode 12)
    Season 3 Episode 12:

    What's Your Beef?

    Whole-cow program; classic cubed steak; Vivian works on her cookbook in New York.

  • A Chef's Life - Gone Clamming, Part II (Season 3 Episode 11)
    Season 3 Episode 11:

    Gone Clamming, Part II

    Waffle House Smackdown; the proper way to open a clam; clam hash.

  • A Chef's Life - Gone Clamming, Part I (Season 3 Episode 10)
    Season 3 Episode 10:

    Gone Clamming, Part I

    Charleston's Wine and Food Festival; clamming trip.

  • A Chef's Life - They Call 'em 'Bagas (Season 3 Episode 9)
    Season 3 Episode 9:

    They Call 'em 'Bagas

    Three ways to bring out the bitter and the sweet in rutabagas; holiday menu; hectic New Year's Eve at the restaurant.

  • A Chef's Life - Honey, I'm Home! (Season 3 Episode 8)
    Season 3 Episode 8:

    Honey, I'm Home!

    Chicken livers with hot honey; Ben preps for his art show; sampling sweet, honey-themed dishes.

  • A Chef's Life - A Casserole Says Plenty (Season 3 Episode 7)
    Season 3 Episode 7:

    A Casserole Says Plenty

    A family reunion conjures up an impressive spread of home-cooked casseroles.

  • A Chef's Life - If You Can't Beet 'Em (Season 3 Episode 6)
    Season 3 Episode 6:

    If You Can't Beet 'Em

    Pickled beets; chocolate cake with beets.

  • A Chef's Life - Prickly Business (Season 3 Episode 5)
    Season 3 Episode 5:

    Prickly Business

    The African roots of okra; picking okra; photo session.

  • A Chef's Life - Pickle Perfect (Season 3 Episode 4)
    Season 3 Episode 4:

    Pickle Perfect

    Homemade pickles, chicken salad and chocolate cake; Ben and Vivian audition a new chef.

  • A Chef's Life - Gettin' Figgy With It (Season 3 Episode 3)
    Season 3 Episode 3:

    Gettin' Figgy With It

    Fig and honey bourbon slushie tasting; fig preserves; Vivian and Ben decide to charge for bread at the restaurant.

  • A Chef's Life - Pretty in Peach (Season 3 Episode 2)
    Season 3 Episode 2:

    Pretty in Peach

    The secrets of Gramma Hill's canned peaches; Thanksgiving in July photo shoot; a mix-up leaves the team scrambling.

  • A Chef's Life - Stop, Squash and Roll (Season 3 Episode 1)
    Season 3 Episode 1:

    Stop, Squash and Roll

    Vivian seeks advice about squash and onions from Mrs. Scarlett and her sister Johnna.

  • A Chef's Life - Eggs Two Dozen Ways (Season 2 Episode 14)
    Season 2 Episode 14:

    Eggs Two Dozen Ways

    Vivian cooks at the James Beard House.

  • A Chef's Life - Eggs a Dozen Ways (Season 2 Episode 13)
    Season 2 Episode 13:

    Eggs a Dozen Ways

    Egg varieties; boiling an egg; the perfect deviled egg; Vivian prepares for the James Beard Foundation dinner.

  • A Chef's Life - Ramp-ing Up to Spring (Season 2 Episode 12)
    Season 2 Episode 12:

    Ramp-ing Up to Spring

    Hunting for ramps -- Appalachian wild leeks; Theo and Flo show off a piglet and a baby goat at the county agriculture show; compound butter and pimped grits; grilled ramps, pickled ramps and sauteed ramps.

  • A Chef's Life - Chicken Lickin (Season 2 Episode 11)
    Season 2 Episode 11:

    Chicken Lickin

    A whole chicken, pounded and stuffed with broccoli salad, becomes the restaurant's best seller; fried chicken the old-fashioned way, served with a side of banana sandwiches; celebrating the twins' birthday.

  • A Chef's Life - Turnips -- The Greens (Season 2 Episode 10)
    Season 2 Episode 10:

    Turnips -- The Greens

    Buying and cooking good turnips; Vivian awaits the arrival of Ben and Karen Barker.

  • A Chef's Life - Turnips -- The Roots (Season 2 Episode 9)
    Season 2 Episode 9:

    Turnips -- The Roots

    Vivian presents her winter rolls with pickled turnips at a charity dinner with James Beard Award-winner Ashley Christensen and other chefs.

  • A Chef's Life - Obviously, It's Pecans (Season 2 Episode 8)
    Season 2 Episode 8:

    Obviously, It's Pecans

    Sourcing pecans; Ben and Vivian host Thanksgiving dinner at their Deep Run home.

  • A Chef's Life - The Fish Episode, Y'all (Season 2 Episode 7)
    Season 2 Episode 7:

    The Fish Episode, Y'all

    The rules of Eastern North Carolina fish stew; a fishing trip on Emerald Isle, N.C.

  • A Chef's Life - Apples (Season 2 Episode 6)
    Season 2 Episode 6:


    Vivian, Ben, Theo and Flo plant their own Southern apple tree.

  • A Chef's Life - Don't Tom Thumb Your Nose at Me! Part 2 (Season 2 Episode 5)
    Season 2 Episode 5:

    Don't Tom Thumb Your Nose at Me! Part 2

    Vivian faces one challenge after another as she prepares for the SFA Luncheon.

  • A Chef's Life - Don't Tom Thumb Your Nose at Me! Part 1 (Season 2 Episode 4)
    Season 2 Episode 4:

    Don't Tom Thumb Your Nose at Me! Part 1

    Preparations are made for a 1,600-plate luncheon for food writers and Southern food enthusiasts at the Southern Foodways Alliance symposium.

  • A Chef's Life - R-E-S-P-E-C-T the Butterbean (Season 2 Episode 3)
    Season 2 Episode 3:

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

    Vivan chooses to use the butterbean for her new veggie burger.

  • A Chef's Life - Shrimp Sells (Season 2 Episode 2)
    Season 2 Episode 2:

    Shrimp Sells

    Frogmore stew; a fish camp; fresh shrimp.

  • A Chef's Life - Blueberries and Boiling Over (Season 2 Episode 1)
    Season 2 Episode 1:

    Blueberries and Boiling Over

    The opening of a burger/oyster bar called the Boiler Room; blueberry barbecue sauce; growler cocktail; blueberry barbecue.

  • A Chef's Life - Have Yourself Some Moonshine (Season 1 Episode 13)
    Season 1 Episode 13:

    Have Yourself Some Moonshine

    Incorporating moonshine into new drinks at Broadslab Distillery; applejack moonshine cocktails.

  • A Chef's Life - The Buttermilk Belt (Season 1 Episode 12)
    Season 1 Episode 12:

    The Buttermilk Belt

    A visit to Maple View Dairy; Vivian's nieces and nephews attempt to make buttermilk with their great-grandmother's butter churn.

  • A Chef's Life - Collard Green Queen (Season 1 Episode 11)
    Season 1 Episode 11:

    Collard Green Queen

    Collard kraut; cabbage collard; Vivian prepares a three-course meal.

  • A Chef's Life - Love Me Some Candied Yams! (Season 1 Episode 10)
    Season 1 Episode 10:

    Love Me Some Candied Yams!

    Candied yams; candied yams with sorghum and pecans; a beef dinner features sweet potatoes.

  • A Chef's Life - A Peanut Pastime (Season 1 Episode 9)
    Season 1 Episode 9:

    A Peanut Pastime

    Peanut farm; Pepsi-glazed pork belly with country ham-braised peanuts; boiled peanuts.

  • A Chef's Life - A Road Trip for Rice (Season 1 Episode 8)
    Season 1 Episode 8:

    A Road Trip for Rice

    Heirloom rice; efforts to save heirloom grains; rice dinner at the restaurant; chicken and rice.

  • A Chef's Life - Muscadine Time (Season 1 Episode 7)
    Season 1 Episode 7:

    Muscadine Time

    Picking muscadine grapes at a local vineyard; homemade wine; pizza with mulled muscadines.

  • A Chef's Life - The World Is Your Oyster (Season 1 Episode 6)
    Season 1 Episode 6:

    The World Is Your Oyster

    Oyster farm; plans for an oyster bar; oyster roast.

  • A Chef's Life - Tomatoes ... You Say Heirloom, I Say Old Timey (Season 1 Episode 5)
    Season 1 Episode 5:

    Tomatoes ... You Say Heirloom, I Say Old Timey

    Ultimate tomato sandwich.

  • A Chef's Life - Cracklin' Kitchen (Season 1 Episode 4)
    Season 1 Episode 4:

    Cracklin' Kitchen

    Two pigs from Warren Brothers' farm; sweet potatoes with cracklings.

  • A Chef's Life - Pimp My Grits (Season 1 Episode 3)
    Season 1 Episode 3:

    Pimp My Grits

    The restaurant prepares for a practice service; using grits four different ways.

  • A Chef's Life - Strawberry Stay at Home (Season 1 Episode 2)
    Season 1 Episode 2:

    Strawberry Stay at Home

    Vivian and Ben rebuild their restaurant; picking strawberries; coconut cornbread shortcake with basil whipped cream.

  • A Chef's Life - Sweet Corn & Expensive Tea (Season 1 Episode 1)
    Season 1 Episode 1:

    Sweet Corn & Expensive Tea

    Chef Vivian Howard and her husband, Ben, open a restaurant in North Carolina; smoked corn relish; a setback threatens the business.

  • A Chef's Life - A Chef's Life Holiday Special (Special)

    A Chef's Life Holiday Special

    Chef Vivian Howard's holiday celebration features Southern cooking and Hanukkah traditions; recipes include corned ham, oyster dressing, hoppin' john and red-velvet cake.