Join Chef Vivian Howard for a taste of the holidays on “A Chef’s Life Holiday Special” – December 12 at 8 pm

Posted on:

< < Back to


– Acclaimed chef Vivian Howard celebrates food, family, and Southern traditions in one-hour documentary special –

This holiday season, the popular series A CHEF’S LIFE invites viewers on a journey to discover and rediscover holiday traditions with a one-hour documentary A CHEF’S LIFE HOLIDAY SPECIAL. Chef Vivian Howard hosts a holiday to remember at her home in Eastern North Carolina as she creates a Southern holiday feast steeped in her family’s Christmas and Chanukah traditions.

Having spent most of her adult life in the kitchens of highly-lauded restaurants, Vivian 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.

Chef Vivian Howard next to Christmas logoThis 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.

“With A CHEF’S LIFE HOLIDAY SPECIAL, you truly get a sense of the emotion of the holidays, and PBS is pleased to feature the new special in primetime as families gather at home and around their own culinary traditions,” said Donald H. Thoms, Vice President, General Audience Programming, PBS. “PBS has a long-standing tradition of quality food and documentary programs, and A CHEF’S LIFE encapsulates the best of both worlds as an insightful and inspiring documentary food series.”

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 Howard originally made a name for herself in the competitive Manhattan restaurant world, before she and her husband Benjamin Knight moved back to her home of Eastern Northern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.