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A Chef's Life

Pimp My Grits (#103)

The restaurant gears up for a practice service when the new equipment and new menu will be tested. [26 minutes] TV-G Closed Captioning

PBS Video

Series Description: 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.

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  • Sweet Corn & Expensive Tea (#101)

    Chef Vivian revisits the Southern tradition of "putting up" corn and makes smoked corn relish. [26 minutes]

  • Strawberry Stay at Home (#102)

    Chef Vivian develops a recipe for coconut cornbread strawberry shortcake with basil whipped cream. [26 minutes]

  • Cracklin' Kitchen (#104)

    The restaurant's "whole animal, no waste" program is christened by using every part of two pigs. [26 minutes]

  • Tomatoes....You Say Heirloom, I Say Old Timey (#105)

    Vivian prepares the "ultimate tomato sandwich" for a Southern Foodways Alliance luncheon. [26 minutes]

  • The World Is Your Oyster (#106)

    Vivian goes to Cedar Island to explore the new culture of farm-raised oysters in the Southeast. [26 minutes]

  • Muscadine Time (#107)

    Vivian picks muscadine grapes at a small local vineyard and makes a pizza with mulled muscadines. [26 minutes]

  • A Road Trip for Rice (#108)

    Vivian travels to Columbia, South Carolina and learns about Carolina heirloom rice growing. [26 minutes]

  • A Peanut Pastime (#109)

    Vivian visits a peanut farm and prepares Pepsi Glazed Pork belly with Country Ham Braised Peanuts. [26 minutes]

  • Love Me Some Candied Yams! (#110)

    Vivian introduces Rob and Amy Hill, proprietors of one of the largest sweet potato farms in America. [26 minutes]

  • Collard Green Queen (#111)

    Vivian prepares for an event called Terra Vita. Collard kraut and the Cabbage Collard are showcased. [26 minutes]

  • The Buttermilk Belt (#112)

    Vivian discusses buttermilk at Maple View Dairy and tries to shoot a Christmas card picture. [26 minutes]

  • Have Yourself Some Moonshine (#113)

    Vivian visits Broad Slab Distillery. AppleJack Moonshine cocktails are prepared and enjoyed. [26 minutes]

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  • Blueberries and Boiling Over (#201)

    Vivian and Ben open the Boiler Room, a burger/oyster bar featuring Vivian's blueberry BBQ sauce. [26 minutes]

  • Shrimp Sells (#202)

    Vivian and Ben head to the beach for vacation. Vivian turns up the heat with Frogmore stew. [26 minutes]

  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T The Butterbean (#203)

    Vivian chooses the beloved Butterbean as the star of her new Veggie Burger at the Boiler Room. [26 minutes]

  • Don't Tom Thumb Your Nose at Me! Part 1 (#204)

    Tom Thumb, a pungent and rich sausage stuffed into a pig's appendix, highlights Vivian's luncheon. [26 minutes]

  • Don't Tom Thumb Your Nose at Me! Part 2 (#205)

    Vivian faces one challenge after another in the prep kitchen before the SFA luncheon. [26 minutes]

  • Apples (#206)

    Vivian visits an heirloom apple tree collector, Creighton Leigh, in North Carolina's Piedmont. [26 minutes]

  • The Fish Episode, Y'all (#207)

    Vivian presents a few of the many ways fish makes its appearance in southern cooking. [26 minutes]

  • Obviously, It's Pecans (#208)

    Vivian is feeling the stress of running the restaurant after preparing for her Thanksgiving feast. [26 minutes]

  • Turnips - The Roots (#209)

    Vivian features her winter rolls with pickled turnips at a charity dinner with Ashley Christiansen. [26 minutes]

  • Turnips - The Greens (#210)

    Late winter brings run-up turnip greens, which Vivian sees as central to her Southern food approach. [26 minutes]

  • Chicken Lickin (#211)

    The restaurant's new best-seller is a whole chicken, pounded and stuffed with broccoli salad. [26 minutes]

  • Ramp-Ing Up to Spring (#212)

    Vivian hunts for ramps, Appalachian wild leeks, with bacon purveyor Alan Benton in Tennessee. [26 minutes]

  • Eggs A Dozen Ways (#213)

    Vivian visits her egg producer and learns about egg varieties, from chickens to ducks and more. [26 minutes]

  • Eggs Two Dozen Ways (#214)

    Vivian's invitation to cook at the prestigious James Beard House becomes a reality. [26 minutes]

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