A Chef's Life is a character-driven documentary and cooking series. The first season consists of 13 half-hour episodes. Much more dynamic than a typical cooking show, A Chef's Life plunges ... See full summary »
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Vivian Howard ...
 Herself (49 episodes, 2013-2016)
Ben Knight ...
 Himself (49 episodes, 2013-2016)
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A Chef's Life is a character-driven documentary and cooking series. The first season consists of 13 half-hour episodes. Much more dynamic than a typical cooking show, A Chef's Life plunges audiences into the kitchen of a highbrow restaurant located in the "low country" of North Carolina. The series explores both traditional and modern applications of quintessential Southern ingredients through the life and work of the series' host and narrator, Vivian Howard. Vivian's skill in the kitchen is an equal match for her charismatic personality, radiating behind crystal grey eyes. Vivian and her husband, Ben Knight, own and operate Chef & the Farmer, a farm-to-table restaurant in Kinston, NC. A Chef's Life will broadcast nationally on PBS stations starting September 2013. Written by Cynthia Hill

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7 September 2013 (USA)  »

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$500,000 (estimated)
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Less Than Endearing
16 March 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

True to the show's title, this series centers around the life of Chef Vivian Howard. Unfortunately for the viewer, Chef Howard is not a terribly endearing personality. Restaurant staff and Chef Howard's husband are subjected to a whole host of petty quibbles, nasty looks, and an overall moody temperament, none of which makes for terribly good television. In fact, it's quite distracting from what otherwise might be a good program. Likewise, Chef Howard's encounters with "the locals" seem rather contrived and the mutual lack of comfort ekes through more than the culinary and cultural content. Many of the locals seem take to Chef Howard about as well as former Confederates took to Carpetbaggers after the Civil War; it's terribly awkward. Overall, the show seems to lose itself in Chef Howard's uncanny inability to relate to her husband, coworkers, and community, rather than truly immersing itself in Carolina culture and "exploring the south one ingredient at a time."


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