Vivian Howard never thought she’d move back to eastern North Carolina. But when her parents offered to help her and her husband Ben open a restaurant in Kinston, they packed up their New York City lives and came back to the south. Twelve years later their restaurant, Chef and the Farmer, continues to draw huge crowds. Julia Wall and Travis Long jwall@newsobserver.com / tlong@newsobserver.com
Vivian Howard never thought she’d move back to eastern North Carolina. But when her parents offered to help her and her husband Ben open a restaurant in Kinston, they packed up their New York City lives and came back to the south. Twelve years later their restaurant, Chef and the Farmer, continues to draw huge crowds. Julia Wall and Travis Long jwall@newsobserver.com / tlong@newsobserver.com

Food & Drink

Vivian Howard is a finalist again for the IACP food industry awards, this time for ‘A Chef’s Life’

February 06, 2018 08:20 PM

Chef Vivian Howard’s popular PBS documentary series “A Chef’s Life” was nominated Tuesday for one of the food industry’s most prestigious honors.

The North Carolina-based series is in the running for Best Independent Video or TV Series from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. The IACP announced the finalists for its Cookbook, Digital Media, Food Photography and Food Writing Awards via Twitter Tuesday night.

Dozens of awards are given to recognize the best work in the culinary world for practically every medium, from personal Instagram accounts to Publication of the Year.

“A Chef’s Life,” produced by Durham-based Markay Media, is up against “1 Minute Meal: A Documentary Portrait of NYC,” an online documentary series on the foods and communities in New York City, and “Master Bread Baking,” a series on baking bread by instructional website Panna.

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Howard has had some luck at the IACP Awards. Last year, she won four awards for her debut cookbook, “Deep Run Roots,” including the top prize of Cookbook of the Year. She also won three other awards in the cookbook categories of General, Chefs & Restaurants and Julia Child First Book.

“A Chef’s Life,” which has aired on WUNC for five seasons, focuses on Howard as she explores the foodways of Eastern North Carolina and balances her family’s life and running several restaurants in Kinston.

The series already has won a Peabody Award, Daytime Emmy Award (for Outstanding Directing In A Lifestyle/Culinary Program) and James Beard Award for Outstanding Personality/Host. Last year, Howard was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Culinary Host.

There are other IACP finalists with local connections. They include:

▪ Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook” is nominated for a Cookbook Award in the Compilations Category. Edited by Kerry Diamond and Claudia Woo, it features recipes from 100 of the “coolest, most creative women around,” including North Carolina chefs Ashley Christensen, Vivian Howard, Andrea Reusing and Katie Button.

Hunter Lewis is editor of Cooking Light and Food & Wine magazines
Time Inc.

▪ Cooking Light, whose editor is Chapel Hill native Hunter Lewis, is nominated for one of the IACP’s top awards, publication of the year. Lewis graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a journalism degree and got his start at the Durham Herald-Sun. Last summer, he was named editor of Food & Wine magazine as well.

▪ Cookbook author Joan Nathan is nominated for two awards for her book, “King Solomon’s Table.” The book is a finalist in the Culinary Travel and International categories. She turned to Duke University professor Marc Brettler, a renowned expert on the Old Testament, and archaeologist Jodi Magness of UNC’s Department of Religious Studies, for assistance in fact-checking the book. In the book’s acknowledgments, Nathan credits Brettler and Magness for being two of the experts who helped her through the “agonizing process” of organizing vast materials into an engaging study of cultural and culinary transition. She was a speaker for UNC’s Jewish Food in the Global South symposium last year.

The IACP will annouce its winners Feb. 25.

Drew Jackson; 919-829-4707; @jdrewjackson