GREENSBORO, N.C. — Vivian Howard left North Carolina for the bright lights of New York City to master her craft. And now that she’s back home, she realizes with a chuckle that, “You do not need to go to New York City to do anything.”
Howard and her husband, Ben Knight, worked in some of the most respected restaurants in New York before her parents convinced them to move back here.
“So the idea was,” as Howard tells it, “if we came back to North Carolina, they’d help us open a restaurant. So I thought, ‘I’d love to live in Asheville, or Wilmington or Raleigh,’ but it became clear, very early on, that it was only going to be Kinston.”
And Chef and the Farmer was born – a highly-respected, nationally known restaurant in Kinston, about two-and-a-half hours southeast of the Triad.
It didn’t hurt that PBS started doing a television series about it called, “A Chef’s Life,” that has won awards. And, now, Howard is venturing out with her own cookbook.
“So, I wrote this whole thing,” she says, proudly when we meet her at Scuppernong Books in downtown Greensboro.
It’s more than just a cookbook, though. It is full of the stories that show how food and certain meals can affect us in ways beyond nourishing our bodies.
“When our food really touches people, both the way the food tastes and the way the food smells and the stories behind the food, the way that it can remind them of a time gone by or a wonderful memory – that’s what is really rewarding for me,” Howard said.
See her story, in this edition of the Buckley Report.