If you still want to donate to our film series, please visit A CHEF'S LIFE at Southern Documentary Fund, and you can make a contribution there! Thank you!
A CHEF’S LIFE is a documentary food series premiering on PBS stations beginning in September 2013 (check local listings).
Every ingredient has a story. By helping produce this ground-breaking documentary series, your donation will support the revitalization of a local economy. We want people to cook and eat locally-grown, delicious, and healthy food, and learn about the cultural traditions that drive their communities.
We need you to help us reach our goal of $50,000 to get us to the finish line on Season 1, and give us a head start on Season 2. We are almost there, but there are expenses associated with a PBS broadcast that we will have to cover. Please help us reach the widest possible audience with these authentic, powerful stories!
Chef Vivian and her husband Ben left a promising career in Manhattan to open a fine dining restaurant in her hometown in eastern North Carolina. Every night she interprets her "grandmother's ingredients," the bounty raised by local farmers, using a chef’s modern sensibilities. Each dish is a seasonal burst of flavor and texture that tells the story of Southern cuisine, past and present. Ben and Vivian have made Kinston's downtown a destination and recharged local agriculture at the same time. A mix of charm, warmth and humor combined with Howard's creative regional cooking style makes Vivian a unique personality among her peers. A CHEF'S LIFE takes you deep into a world we rarely see on television, chronicling Vivian and Ben as they run a high-pressure business and nurture their growing family. Along the way, we meet the local farmers, cooks, and artisans whose passion makes Vivian's creative cuisine a reality.
A CHEF'S LIFE is nothing like the cooking shows you see on the Food Network or PBS. Every week you will see relationships bloom around family, stories, and places, while you glimpse Chef Vivian at work crafting dishes like the Perfect Tomato Sandwich, Pimp My Grits, and Pork Belly with a Pepsi glaze. Moonshine Cocktails, wine, and beer are also on the table. Vivian is a James Beard Award semi-finalist (two years in a row!), but through her eyes you will meet people you'd otherwise never see on television: home cooks, gardeners, hunters, fishermen, beef, chicken, and pork farmers, and wine and whiskey makers, drawn from every racial and social group. Vivian does what many working women aspire to do these days—building a local network and a global career, nurturing her family with water from the taproot of her hometown.
A CHEF'S LIFE focuses on the story of Eastern North Carolina because we have roots there. Producer/Director Cynthia Hill and Chef Vivian Howard both come from rural communities around Kinston, NC and have seen first-hand both the problems and possibilities of a changing economy. Chef Vivian's glass is half-full as she and Ben have created over 60 jobs on local farms just by generating demand for produce, grains, cheese, seafood, and meats for their restaurant, Chef & the Farmer.
Our motivation is simple: tell the good stories. We are working with growers and artisans to build an economic future by highlighting what is already there—the peerless quality of produce and proteins offered in this region, and the cost-effective practices which sustain small business, environmental quality, and good health.
Who We Are
A CHEF'S LIFE is produced by Markay Media in association with SCETV Presents. The series is directed and produced by Cynthia Hill with Rex Miller as co-producer and cinematographer. Tom Vickers is editor. Derek Britt is the executive producer. Amy Shumaker is executive-in-charge for SCETV Presents. The series is a project of the Southern Documentary Fund. Other production team members include: Malinda Maynor Lowery, Josh Woll, Chuck Johnson, Blaire Johnson, Jason Hill, Tonya Sessoms Adams, Jamie Warzel, Selena Lauterer, Hayley Teater, Margaret McNealy, Trailblazer Studios and Smashing Boxes.
The show's theme song is written and performed by North Carolina's own Avett Brothers. Other partners include the Golden Leaf Foundation, the North Carolina Pork Council, Lenoir County Committee of 100, MOM Delicious, Got To Be NC Agriculture, and YOU!
What We Need & What You Get
We are thrilled to have Vivian, her husband Ben, and the growers and artisans she works with offering these gifts in exchange for your donation. At the $300, $500, and $750 level you will find a plethora of hand-crafted products, selected by Chef Vivian.
Your food basket will include a selection of the following items: Covington Spirits: yam vodka, Mother Earth Brewery: beer, Chef & the Farmer: barbeque sauce, MOM Delicious Inc.: muscadine juice, Nahunta: pork, Old Mill of Guilford: grits.
Other Ways You Can Help
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