Call it a culinary crush. Vivian Howard, the chef on the PBS reality show A Chef’s Life. As she sets up at the beginning of her half hour show Sunday evenings, Vivian and her husband moved back from NYC to North Carolina-her home-to open a restaurant. That’s where the fun begins.
She’s down the road at a neighbor’s farm picking seasonal produce. She and her mother chat in the kitchen while they can peaches. Then it’s off to the restaurant to whip up highfalutin, fine cuisine from rutabagas, okra (ugh), grits and collard greens, pork stomach and other local fare. And it all comes with a twinkle in blue eyes, a rather fetching laugh, and a genuine appreciation for the simple things in life.
And the NC accent. She says “Pee’-can” instead of “pee-cahn’.”
What’s not to love?
The show is my warm-up to 60 minutes on Sunday nights. Weird, huh? Before getting briefed on Saudi’s possible ties to 9/11, I’m watching Vivian in her summer dress and boots picking figs, rounding up turnips; she’s shown me the right way to hard boil an egg.
- Eggs in cold water
- Bring to boil
- Put on the lid and turn off the heat.
- Go away for 12 minutes and you’re done.
And you don’t get that grey ring around the yoke. Real pretty. I’m talking about the egg, but Vivian is nice to look at too.
So Vivian is my Sunday night date, except when Tom Brady takes the field on Sunday Night Football. Call it my man crush.