Vivian Howard


Power Chefs

Born in Deep Run, North Carolina, to tobacco and hog farming parents, Vivian Howard had an upbringing steeped in Southern food traditions. After college, Vivian moved to New York to work in advertising, but soon transitioned to the city’s food and restaurant scene. In 2005, she returned to North Carolina to open her first award-winning restaurant, Chef & the Farmer, followed by the Boiler Room and Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria. In the fall of 2018, Vivian will open her fourth restaurant, Handy & Hot, in Kinston. Vivian and her restaurants have won numerous accolades, including her selection as a five-time James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist for Best Chef Southeast. In 2012, Vivian and director Cynthia Hill premiered A Chef’s Life, the award-winning documentary television series celebrating eastern North Carolina food traditions. After five seasons, a Daytime Emmy, Peabody Award, and James Beard Award for Outstanding Personality/Host, the show has segued into a new series to premiere in 2019, focused on telling food stories of the American South in the context of global food traditions. In October 2016, Vivian released her first cookbook, Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South.


Lauren Goldstein