Season 3, Episode 4: Pickle Perfect | A Chef's Life | PBS Food

Season 3, Episode 4: Pickle Perfect



Vivian visits her friend Nancy for a surprisingly comforting combination of homemade pickles, chicken salad, and chocolate cake. Ben and Vivian audition a new chef to offer Ben some relief and much-needed time to focus on his art.

Vivian’s Cooking Demo



Vivian’s Featured Recipe

Quick-Pickled Cucumbers and Onions



  • 1 pound small, seedless cucumbers, cut into ¼-inch rounds
  • 1 bunch spring onions, cut into rings or 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the cucumbers and onions in a 1-quart jar with tight-fitting lid.
  2. Bring the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 2 minutes. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers and onions, making sure the vegetables are submerged.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until chilled before serving. Store covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.


In this episode we show you how to make fermented pickles. That process takes days. If you don't have that kind of time and need pickles pronto, try this recipe for making quick pickles. - Vivian Howard

Yield: Makes about 4 cups


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A Chef’s Life - Season 3, Episode 1: Stop, Squash and Roll

Episode 1: Stop, Squash and Roll

Vivian seeks motherly advice from Mrs. Scarlett and her sister Johna over dinner. Premiered September 5. Check local listings. Continue

A Chef’s Life - Season 3, Episode 2: Pretty in Peach

Episode 2: Pretty in Peach

Mrs. Scarlett teaches Vivian the secrets of Gramma Hill’s canned peaches and shares fond fried chicken memories from her own childhood. Premiered September 12. Check local listings. Continue

A Chef’s Life - Season 3, Episode 3: Gettin' Figgy With It

Episode 3: Gettin’ Figgy With It

Vivian is under the gun to pen an entire book chapter on figs in three days. The stress inspires a fig and honey bourbon slushie tasting with Warren and a fig preserves session with Ms Rose. Premieres September 19. Check local listings. Continue


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