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SilverStormm

A Chef's Life

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I am hooked on this show! I really like Vivian, but am not sure about her husband. Sometimes he does not seem too supportive. It is exhausting watching how hard Vivian works. She seems to have great respect for her parents which is nice to see. Her little twins are adorable.

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I love this show too! My local PBS doesn't carry it, so I've been catching up on the PBS website.  Has it been said who looks after the kids while Vivian and Ben spend all hours at the restaurant? It must be so difficult to be away from them for so long during the day. Nice that Ben's mom moved down to the area though.  

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What rotten timing for the restaurant to burn down right after they began filming this show... Vivian sure didn't want to go back to work it seemed, after spending so much time with the kids.  I've just recently discovered this show and have been watching them on the PBS website out of order, so am unsure which season the episodes I've watched are in. The cast of local characters she finds is great too, love her farmer friend Warren, and the hog raising family where they made the cracklins (Poodle!).

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I think they've said it's a combination of grandparents and other local family plus babysitters/nannies. I'm really curious how lucrative their business is. I know they have upscale prices, but I've seen their house in a magazine spread and it's crazy nice.

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I sort of feel sorry for her husband Ben.

It's not hard for me to imagine that he wasn't too crazy about moving to Kinston. They were in New York which is a great place for chef's to be. Better restauraunts, better money.

I think Vivian really wanted to do it. Her parents gave her the money to start a restauraunt on the condition she move back home. Guess it's hard to turn that down. I'm not sure I would turn it down either. If my parents actually had the money to do something like that.

But maybe Ben wanted to stay in New York and try their luck.

On the show he seems to be more into the business side of things. And he had the wine classes for the staff but that was about business too. It was the only time he seemed somewhat alive. He had something that was just his.

I think he probably gave up a lot of his own hopes to move with Vivian to Kinston. You just can't do the same things there that you could in New York.

He just seems so unhappy all of the time. I think he's trying to make the best out of the situation. But it doesn't look like it's working.

I wonder if their marriage is going to last? They have two restauraunts that seem to take up all their time. Plus the twins. They probably have very little left over just for themselves alone. In fact, I bet they have none at all.

Edited by kathy42977

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I also recently discovered this show, & have only watched the holiday episode, & the very first episode. I may check it out more on the PBS website if my local PBS station doesn't show more episodes. It looks interesting, but there is something about Vivian that I just don't like. Nothing I can pinpoint, just something about her sets my teeth on edge. And I have a problem with her parents effectively coercing her into moving back home by dangling a restaurant in front of her.

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Vivian, as we say in the south, "Comes from money". I'm from Lenoir County also, and the Howards most definitely aren't poor.  :) My parents would have done the same to get me or my sisters back home. (Actually, they did buy me and my sister a farm (next to where they live) when we graduated from college so we could build houses on it).  I like Vivian. I like that she's real (the moments of stress and bitchiness don't bother me because they aren't constant and they are genuine). Occasionally, her remarks about Kinston and ENC people grate (we don't know what fine dining is, or good wine, or whatever), but I'm guilty of making the same sweeping generalizations (that are mostly true, admittedly) about ENC because it is a rural, poverty-stricken area. 

Edited by Apocalypse Cow
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I don't know the Howards personally, and so I have no idea of financial situation. But Vivian did go to boarding school for high school (this one: http://www.ves.org/page.aspx?pid=1245 ),rather than the local high school, and from everything I hear, her parents are by no means poor. :) I don't know if they helped with the house, but with the success of both restaurants, the cookbook deals, appearances, and the show--- I doubt Vivian and Ben are struggling. 

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There's surprisingly little spoken of or shown this season about the second restaurant... maybe since the first is their baby and it's all about the farm-to-table experience like the show, they focus on it more.  

 

Re the chicken episode: why was Vivian so averse to calling the chicken dish she created "deconstructed chicken salad"?  She preferred calling it a "riff on chicken salad".  Is "deconstructed" too trendy a term now? The chicken coop for the kids was so cute too.

 

Also the turnip greens episode: it was cute and touching how nervous she was to be cooking for her southern cooking idols. I guess I'd be the same way!

Edited by Janc

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They finally got around to showing the 2nd episode from season 1. How did that fire start? It really destroyed everything, did they just stand around & watch it burn, or did it spread really fast?

 

Something I forgot to ask if anyone knows. At the beginning when she's doing the intro, she says she living in the house she grew up in. Did they move in with her parents? Or did they give her the house too?

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Something I forgot to ask if anyone knows. At the beginning when she's doing the intro, she says she living in the house she grew up in. Did they move in with her parents? Or did they give her the house too?

 

In one of the episodes, she explains that her parents essentially built a second home in the backyard of their original home, so the parents live in the backyard house, and her family lives in the original house. 

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The dinner at the James Beard House looked so stressful. When the fryer shut off and they had to fry the fish (or was it shrimp? Now I can't remember) in the skillets? Omg. That was crazy because then I watched the Great British Baking Show and someone on there had the same issue with a fryer. The fryers, apparently, shut off after two hours if they are not in use or something like that. Vivian was not aware of this and neither was the baker on the other show.

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The kids are cute, but Vivian is always complaining.  The people of that area aren't adventurous enough with their palates.  There's not a large enough labor pool for her to get top staff, and they don't seem to appreciate the opportunity to work for her.  As a result, I don't seek out this show, I just watch it if it comes on after some other show that I actually tuned in for.

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Discuss Season 3 Here. Mods, if you would, please change the topic title to something more playful.

 

The episode one description:

 

With squash season in full effect, trouble with the twins, staffing issues at the Boiler Room, and a new cookbook overloading her plate, Vivian seeks motherly advice from Mrs. Scarlett and her sister Johna over a Southern classic: squash and onions. Despite nerves, Vivian plays it cool on camera, as Ben and all of Kinston anticipate her appearance on The Today Show.

 

Judging by The Today Show appearance covered in the show, it looks like this season started filming back in June 2014 and covers the six months through New Year's. The kids are adorable and it should be interesting getting to see Ben run the kitchen in the second restaurant.

Edited by halopub
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I think they will repeat it again sometime this week. I love this show. Vivian is so down to earth. I enjoy seeing her go out into the fields with Warren. The kids are adorable. Yes, it will be interesting to see Ben run the Boiler Room.

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Good grief! Did I miss the start of a new season??? I hate my life!!!

 

You have the perfect username for this episode. I didn't realize there was a new season either, until I checked my local station's schedule for the Bake Off reruns. Mine is one of the stations that tends to put all the food and cooking shows into Sunday afternoon or night blocks.

 

The first episode is streaming online at PBS.org and there are somewhat spoilerly episode descriptions for the season here.

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Judging by The Today Show appearance covered in the show, it looks like this season started filming back in June 2014 and covers the six months through New Year's. The kids are adorable and it should be interesting getting to see Ben run the kitchen in the second restaurant.

 

I actually think they filmed longer than that.  The show contacted us in Jan/Feb to film our hog killing for the show, but it ended up not working out (thank goodness--- you don't look tv ready at a hog killing). I may be wrong though.

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I actually think they filmed longer than that.  The show contacted us in Jan/Feb to film our hog killing for the show, but it ended up not working out (thank goodness--- you don't look tv ready at a hog killing). I may be wrong though.

 

Maybe they continually film and just thought New Year's would be a good spot to end the season?

 

I have a northern mama and a southern daddy so my love of squash came from when we lived up north, Silver Springs, MD area (yes to people in NC that is up north) when I was younger and my mama needed to be around her mama at that time. We would visit my southern grandma all the time and the food was just so different than what my northern grandma cooked. Stewed squash was just heaven in a bowl to me. We have lived here in NC since I was 14 permanently. My daddy was born and raised here and I have so many cousins and family and I married someone who was born and raised here yet I am still considered the yankee of the family. Haha. 

 

It's great that you can watch the show with some regional perspective and I chuckled when you wrote that you're considered the yank.

 

I've now caught up through the episode on figs. I thought it was great that Vivian acknowledged during the canning that regional cooks have considerable knowledge that she never would have learned in a professional kitchen environment.

 

On the business side, Vivian recently pointed out in an interview that it took ten years for the restaurant to turn profitable and yet I could understand Ben's reluctance to do away with complimentary bread. Folks do develop a certain expectation and I think the servers did a good job of selling the small and big bread baskets to first-time customers. I disagree with Vivian that other restaurants at the level of the Chef & The Farmer do not serve complimentary bread but I'm sure with the farflung customers being reluctant to drink up, the bottom line for such things do matter for the restaurant's long term future.

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My two cents on the bread: I've eaten there several times, and I didn't even notice that they had stopped serving complimentary bread.  I think that first-timers wouldn't know any different, and occasional diners like myself, wouldn't even notice.  Frequent diners probably noticed, but if you are dining frequently at the Chef and the Farmer, you shouldn't quibble over a 2.50 basket of bread.  

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I'm liking this season so far, I didn't expect an episode on casseroles. So the overachiever had to bring 15 things to the homecoming just to make sure they were on the table? Looks like she didn't have to do that.  Seaweed hair - she was pretty upset about that comment, why did the bow-tied host feel he had to tell her about that?

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My church does an old fashioned homecoming like that.  I usually bring 3-4 things (meat and 2-3 side items, usually a casserole) and a dessert.  So it's not unusual for her to bring a lot of stuff. I view it as "bring enough stuff that you'd be able to feed your family and a few guests" type thing.  And she's a local celeb chef--- it's expected she bring a lot of "her" food.  I've had those sweet potato and ham biscuits--- they are yummy. :) 

Edited by Apocalypse Cow
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Thanks for the link to that article, AC.  It is a very good read and shows how important the show has become to the economy of the town.  In the coming years, I wonder how much pressure Vivian will feel to keep the show going in order to keep all these businesses afloat.... 

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Both Boiler Room and CatF are successful in their own right, and would likely still be without the show.  BR is packed every weekend, and has steady weekday business.  CatF is being booked 3 months in advance. I don't know if the show is gone if it will stay that way, but possibly.  The other businesses in Kinston are less successful.  The taco place is wonderful, but I was there Saturday night picking up an order and it was dead. It may be busy at lunch, but I work in another town, so I don't know. I hope it stay because the tacos are tdf.  Ginger 108 is very, very good (most of my friends prefer it over CatF), but I don't know if Kinston is big enough to support two semi-upscale places.  Mother Earth will be fine (they would be fine without CatF or the show, to be honest). The bakery (Sweetie Pies) has already closed, in spite of decent business.  It was too much for the owners to handle, and hiring others was too costly.  There's a new pizza place opening in its place though, and I'm pretty excited about it.

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Today's new episode (#13 - potatoes) had me Googling. I LUV potato salad, and the recipe they made looked so good. When I looked it up, I had to find out what they have listed as "Durkees" and sweet salad cubes were. I'd never heard of either. Durkee's Famous Sauce is evidently a mixture of mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar (maybe other things?) and the sweet salad cubes sound like diced sweet pickles. Now I'll keep my eye out for both.

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My mother (grew up in central PA) knew how to can and bake (not much of cook), and I remember her canning many things - peaches, applesauce, sour cherries (all from trees on our property). She also had a garden and grew cucumbers. She made butter pickles (sweet), and they were wonderful. Sadly, I didn't learn to can, and don't have much of an inclination to try, but I do have her recipe box that includes the butter pickles. I guess if you eat them right away you don't need to can them? Definitely learn while your family is still with you!

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We can almost all of our veggies and make our own sweet pickles.  I use Mount Olive pickles for dill. :) Canning pickles is easy though. A great thing to begin with when trying out canning.

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Ha! I love Bacon Kevin! from Top Chef.  The tomato episode is one of my favorites from the series.  That and the cracklin' episode. The cracklin' episode has our pigs in it, so I'm partial to that one.  We don't cook our squash to mush either, golden brown and slightly crispy but still soft is my favorite way.

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I can't think of why I think so, but for some reason I was sure she wasn't planning on having any more children.  With the restaurant, the show, all the travel, and the cookbook, I'd be shocked if she wanted to have another baby.

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I only asked because in the last couple of recent episodes airing in my area, Vivian's irritable, extremely tired & is wearing what look like maternity tops.

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21 minutes ago, honeydo7 said:

I only asked because in the last couple of recent episodes airing in my area, Vivian's irritable, extremely tired & is wearing what look like maternity tops.

Many of us hard working women are tired, irritable &  wear tunics.  It doesn't mean we are pregnant. 

Her husband  also appears  tired & irritable.  I don't think he's pregnant. ;)

Edited by ariel
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According to Wikipedia, in the article on the show, S3 was filmed from early September 2015 to late November 2015. But according to the article,

Quote

According to the Longview News Journal, Season 4 filming is in "full throtle".[5]

So we may see soon enough.

Edited by Actionmage · Reason: Clarity on what article was looked at.

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On ‎5‎/‎9‎/‎2016 at 11:10 AM, Apocalypse Cow said:
On ‎5‎/‎9‎/‎2016 at 11:10 AM, Apocalypse Cow said:
  • Can your " insider friends" confirm or deny the rumor that Vivian is pregnant or has had a third child?

.  

Edited by ariel

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I'm not close enough friends to them to pry like that. I will say that in a recent picture of Viv, she did look like she had a small bump, but that may have just been the apron. If no one had mentioned that she may be preggo, I wouldn't have noticed it, so it may be nothing.  

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I would think asking if Viv has had another baby would be a very easy breezy question to ask your friends. She seems to be very open with her staff.

Edited by ariel

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Since whether or not Vivian's pregnant isn't part of any of the Season 3 episodes, maybe pregnancy talk could be moved to a Vivian-specific thread? I'm not against the spec, but it has nothing to do with S3.

 

Also, if the mods would like a potential subtitle for the season, how about Season 3: I Wrote a Cookbook, Y'All!

Edited by Actionmage · Reason: To add a thread title subtitle.
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