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A Chef’s Life is a cooking and documentary series that takes viewers inside the life of Chef Vivian Howard, who, with her husband Ben Knight, opens a fine dining restaurant in her small hometown in Eastern North Carolina. Each episode follows Vivian out of the kitchen and into cornfields, strawberry patches and hog farms as she hunts down the ingredients that inspire her menus. Using a chef’s modern sensibilities, Vivian explores Southern cuisine, past and present – one ingredient at a time. A celebration of true farm-to-table food, the series combines the action and drama of a high-pressure business with the joys and stresses of family life.


As Chef Vivian returns from her Mississippi trip, she confronts the effects of 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 region. Savory and sweet heirloom apples make an appearance on the menu.