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'A Chef's Life' Holiday Special

Courtesy of Rex Miller

Thursday, December 1, 8 p.m. Thursday, December 22, 9 p.m. (replay)

Join Chef Vivian Howard for a taste of the holidays as she serves up the best of her Southern cooking heritage and the Chanukah traditions her husband Ben grew up with. From a simple corned ham to an upscale oyster dressing, from humble Hoppin’ John to an elegant red velvet cake, sample one of the most charming and delicious holiday celebrations of the season.

Having spent most of her adult life in the kitchens of highly-lauded restaurants, Chef Vivian Howard has rarely celebrated the holidays during busy Decembers. This year, she and her husband Ben Knight are determined to give their toddler twins a traditional holiday experience, cooking, laughing, and yes, crying their way through Southern traditions new and old. In A Chef's Life Holiday Special, Vivian discovers that mistletoe is traditionally shot out of a pecan tree, experiences her first hog killing, and leads a “tacky Christmas sweater” night with the restaurant staff at Chef and the Farmer. 

This is television you can virtually taste, complete with culinary expert friends and family stopping by to help Vivian with her feast. Chef Scott Barton (Voyage), Vivian’s mentor and an expert on Southern food, shows her how to prepare Hoppin’ John, and North Carolina’s Bill Smith (Crook’s Corner) shares his secrets for his world famous corned ham. Vivian recreates her childhood memories as she bakes red velvet cake with her sister and celebrates the first night of Chanukah with Ben’s family, making traditional foods and lighting the menorah. 

Watch a preview courtesy of Mark Brewer via YouTube.com

About A Chef's Life

More than a cooking show,  A Chef's Life is a character-driven documentary series that takes viewers inside the life and kitchen of Chef Vivian Howard. Howard originally made a name for herself in the competitive Manhattan restaurant world, before she and her husband Benjamin Knight moved back to her home of Eastern Northern Carolina to open their own restaurant. From a devastating fire to the opening of a second restaurant,  A Chef's Life has followed Vivian and Ben as they raise a family, manage their business, and discover the food traditions that make the South such a special place.  A Chef's Life was honored with a Peabody Award in 2014 and was also nominated for a James Beard Award.

A Chef's Life Holiday Special airs on WHRO TV15 on Thursday, December 1, at 8 p.m. and again on Thursday, December 22, at 9 p.m.