In A Chef’s Life, go inside the life of chef Vivian Howard, who, with her husband Ben Knight, left the big city to open a fine dining restaurant in small-town eastern North Carolina. Each episode follows Howard out of the kitchen and into cornfields, strawberry patches and hog farms as she hunts down the ingredients that inspire her seasonal menus. Using a chef’s modern sensibilities, she 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.
Vivian goes to Cedar Island to explore the new culture of farm-raised oysters in the Southeast. She and Ben share plans of opening an oyster bar across the street from Chef & the Farmer in hopes it will be a place that adds character and variety to the tiny town’s “dining scene.” Vivian and her dad orchestrate their family’s first-ever oyster roast and are blown away by how much everyone enjoys it.
Vivian’s Cooking Demo
Vivian’s Featured Recipe
Oysters on the Half Shell with Muscadine and Apple Mignonette
This recipe balances the acidity and sweetness of the muscadine mignonette to set off the oyster's unique creamy texture and ocean flavor. This recipe appears in the "The World Is Your Oyster" episode of A Chef's Life, featuring chef Vivian Howard.
- 1/2 cup muscadine juice (or white grape juice) -- we like Carolina Wild
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 cup apple (peeled and minced)
- 1 Tbsp. grated red onion (on the microplane)
- pinch salt
- 1/8 tsp. white pepper
- Whisk together and let it hang out for at least 30 minutes. Spoon a teaspoon or so on top of each opened oyster. Serve very cold.