Jump to content

Small Talk: Come on in, Y’all!

The Small Talk topic is for:

 

  • Introductions
  • Off-topic chatter
  • Having virtual tea with forum buddies

 

This is NOT a topic for actual show discussion. When you want to talk about the show:

 

  1. Figure out the nature of the topic you want to talk about
  2. Look for an existing topic that matches or fits
  3. If there is NOT an existing topic that fits, CREATE ONE!

 

Examples of topics that populate show forums include (but by no means are limited to):

 

  • Character topics
  • Episode topics
  • Season topics
  • Spoiler topics
  • Speculation topics
  • In the Media topics
  • Favourite X topics
  • ...you get the idea

 

Happy trails beyond Small Talk!

0

Share Post


Link to post

I'm really excited to see a forum for this show! Not sure which season is which though. 

1

Share Post


Link to post

I hope Vivian and Ben's marriage can survive despite their close working relationship in such a stressful lifestyle. Ben's art career sure has taken a back seat to the restaurants. 

1

Share Post


Link to post

I'm from Kinston and have eaten at both the Boiler Room and The Chef and the Farmer.  Both are delish!

3

Share Post


Link to post

^^^^Ever since I discovered this little show a few months ago, I have been pondering going to their places to eat. Spill all the details! I am about an hour or so farther down southwest from Kinston.

Edited by stewedsquash.
0

Share Post


Link to post

Okay, The Chef and Farmer is great.  The food is always excellent, fresh and uses local ingredients, and are mainly southern dishes with a modern twist.  The bbq chicken is delish, pork shoulder lasagna is amazing, the pimp my grits menu is always delicious and fun, and the desserts are to die for.  Seriously, last year they served a chocolate cake with caramel and homemade toffee that was heavenly.  I check the menu almost weekly to see if that dessert is back up there--- and when it is, I'm there. :) Atmosphere is hip and understated--- it's not uber fancy (no white tablecloths) and you'd be just at home in dressier clothes as you would in jeans and t-shirt. I've worn both to eat there.  Prices are on the higher end, especially for ENC, but not outrageous.  Dinner for 2 with 1-2 drinks is probably going to run you 100-125ish.  It's really kinda surreal to go in and eat there and see Vivian in the kitchen cooking, and familiar faces waiting on you.  The service is always great. My criticisms would be: small portions (you really have to order about 3 courses (app, large plate, dessert at least) to get full).  It's definitely quality, not quanity.  Which is fine, but if you're paying $30 for a plate of food, you don't want to leave hungry.  And I'm never overly impressed with the craft cocktails.  I was a bartender for years, so I know my liquor and i'm always meh on some of the concoctions.  Taste should always supersede hipness. I also have a love/hate relationship with the ever-changing menu.  Some of my favorite items disappear and have yet to return.  Sigh. The Chef and the Farmer is definitely a "special occasion" place to dine. Since the show aired, it's been super busy and hard to get in. Reservations are a must.  I've got reservations for the 30th, and we had to make those last week. So if you do decide to visit Kinston, definitely call in advance.  

 

Okay, the Boiler Room is probably my favorite place to eat right now. I eat there pretty often.  The food quality is just as good as the Chef and the Farmer, but much cheaper and bigger portions. I leave there stuffed.  I've never eaten anything there that isn't amazing, but if you ever make it there--- you must try the pimento cheese burger.  So. Dang. Good. They serve this little vat of deliciousness with their fries called Kitchen Sink Mayo and I can't even tell you how good that stuff is.  Food crack, really. It should be illegal. Atmosphere is great---definitely  dive bar-ish, which totally works. It's a small, intimate place and definitely looks pretty vintage cool.  My only criticism would be that it tends to be loud in there, so be prepared.  I think the cocktails there tend to be better than the Chef, but not super strong (I think you should be able to tast the liquor in some drinks), so still some room for improvement on the bar front. One really cool thing is that Ben is there alot (and sometimes Vivian-- she was there last time I went) and he is working hard there. He's super nice and funny and very self-deprecating and down-to-earth. One night when I was in there, he sat us, brought us our drinks, and our food, and then bused our table.  Again, it's a little surreal.  

 

I would really encourage you to try both places.  I'd actually make a day out of it on a Saturday and go to the farmer's market in Kinston (you'll probably see some familiar faces from the show), Mother Earth Brewery (you can take a tour), Lunch at Boiler Room, Dinner at Chef and the Farmer.  Kinston has a bad rap in NC for being dangerous/poor/whatever, but there has been a huge revitalization downtown and there's some neat places to go and lots of history there.  

 

Oh, and a few last little tidbits--- Warren Brothers (and his whole family) live about a mile from my home. I grew up playing with his kids and visiting his mom as a kid with my grandma.  Super nice group of people. And the season 1 episode about the pigs-- Cracklin' is the title of it, I think, featured my dad's pigs.  He raises those pigs with the family featured in that episode.  And supposedly,  A Chef's Life was going to go film our annual hog killing (we do a big one with the guys featured in the pig episode) but there was conflicts in the schedule-- thank god, because I looked like a babushka in my winter gear to wrap meat (I didn't find out about the potential filming until I was already there wrapping meat). 

Edited by Apocalypse Cow.
3

Share Post


Link to post

I started to drool when I read bbq lasagna! Thanks for your information. I like that she is booked up with reservations. I loved the turnip episode the best because when they were cooking in Warren's kitchen, it felt like I was watching my life. I love to get out and ride and I might head up that way one day.

1

Share Post


Link to post

My cable system just got Create, so I'm just now discovering this show. Is there some reason she's bitter, or does she have a glass half full personality, or have I just seen an unfortunate selection of episodes? Because every show I've seen so far has been more or less wall-to-wall about what a burden everything she's doing is, even when it seems as if really good things are happening for her. Is there backstory?

3

Share Post


Link to post

She doesn't usually come across as bitter to me; sometimes I catch a "snobby" vibe off of her, but mostly I find her pretty natural and self-deprecating, and mostly pragmatic about her situations.  YMMV, of course.  

1

Share Post


Link to post

I don't catch snobby as much as being used to a certain level of lifestyle and the security and expectation from others that comes from it. And I don't get bitter at all! I think she gets irritated and pissed off for sure. And she and her husband seem to have a ying yang thing in their relationship. I keep meaning to watch the first season online, since it does not seem to be on the schedule for any repeat. 

 

Not sure if my word salad first sentence got across what I was trying to say!

1

Share Post


Link to post

Love your restaurant reviews, Apocolypse Cow!  How often does the menu change in the restaurants, is it actually weekly? Have you seen the cameras filming season 3 yet?

0

Share Post


Link to post

It changes often, probably weekly at least, sometimes daily, depending on the season.  Some things tend to stay up there longer-- the bbq chicken will, the pork shoulder lasagna, etc.  And sometimes the protein or main item in a dish will stay the same, but the sides will change. Desserts usually stay the same for about a month.  And some of the apps will be essentially the same (pork belly skewers) but the accouterments will differ. I've not seen or heard about season 3 filming, but they may be, i don't know. I'm going Friday (yay!) for dinner. It's been awhile since I've been there, so I'm ready for a good meal. If I see any camera crews or have something that is tdf, I'll let y'all know. :) 

1

Share Post


Link to post

Okay, so went to The Chef and the Farmer on Friday.  It was awesome, as usual. For appetizers, I ordered the slow cooked grits with pimento cheese, beef bacon, apples and fried leeks and jalapenos.  So frigging good. Like the best grits I've ever had, and I'm a southern girl who has eaten a lot of grits in her lifetime.  Others at the table ordered starters that I tried: Wood Fired Pizza with beef bacon and mozzarella (excellent! I'd order this again and again), Warm Lima Bean Spread (it was good), Our Daily Bread (bread basket-- the sweet potato bread was a standout), and Pork Belly Skewers (DELISH!). The only miss for apps was the Oysters on the Half Shell with creme fraiche and a jalapeno granita.  It really was sort of bland and not great.  For my meal, I ordered the Osso Bucco with rice and peas, root vegetables,  mole and cilantro. The meat was delish, and the rice and peas, cilantro and mole really complimented it- peas were a puree, the rice was a fried rice ball (yum!). The cilantro and the pickled root vegetables really added a freshness to the otherwise heavy dish.It was also a generous portion, and I ended up taking half home, which was pleasant surprise. I really liked it and was glad I had ordered it. Others at the table ordered bone in pork chop, or the pork shoulder lasagna, or flounder dish.  Everyone was pretty pleased with their entrees.  For desert, I ordered the ice cream of the day, a lemon pie ice cream with lemon curd. Portion was small, but it was very good. Others ordered a honey and pecan baklava with citrus (I didn't try it, but those who did said it was good, but needed work as far as the citrus went), the apple tart with rosemary ice cream and salted caramel (had mixed reviews at the table--- I liked it, but others thought the rosemary ice cream was not that good. I thought that it complimented the sweet desert well and toned down some of the sweetness), and the tiramisu (I wasn't a huge fan of this--- dark chocolate overpowered it, and I thought it was a little bland.)

 

Overall, it was a great meal.  Some of my fellow diners do not have adventurous palates and were a little put off by the menu, but I'd say that most people enjoyed the meal. It was pricey though. I spent around 100 for just me after tip.  If I went again, I would definitely order the grits again, and maybe the pork skewers and the pizza-- just depends on the rest of the starters available at the time.  But the grits are a must. The entree was good, but  I rarely ever repeat entrees there (except for the tomato pie! Can't wait until summer!) so I don't know if I'd order it again, but I'd definitely recommend it to others. I just looked at the menu a few minutes ago, and it's changed again. :)  Got to love seasonal cooking.

Edited by Apocalypse Cow.
1

Share Post


Link to post

Here is something I've been curious about.  She's mentioned on the show the restaurant has been around 6 or 7 years and does a good business, at least on weekends.  Is that actually true?  I know nothing about Kinston, but from what you describe, it makes me think the restaurant is kind of a mismatch for the town, i.e. the food sounds too sophisticated (and perhaps too expensive) for her local audience. 

0

Share Post


Link to post

Both restaurants are incredibly busy on the weekends and throughout the week.  In Lenoir Co/Kinston, there is a disparity of wealth in the population.  While much of Lenoir Co's residents are below poverty level, there is still a significant portion of the population who are middle class/upper middle class. And while most people don't eat at the Chef and the Farmer weekly, most of my social circle has eaten there at least once. And people travel from all over ENC and the triangle to eat there. When I was there on Friday, it was packed.  Since the show started, I haven't been able to get a reservation without a week or two notice (or more) for during the week or the weekend, unless I wanted to eat at 5:30 or 9:30.  Food is pricey, but not outrageous. I've eaten at more expensive places, for sure. As far as the food being too sophisticated... maybe? Southerns are generally pretty open minded about food, so as long as it tastes good, we'll usually try anything once.

3

Share Post


Link to post
As far as the food being too sophisticated... maybe? Southerns are generally pretty open minded about food, so as long as it tastes good, we'll usually try anything once.

 

I should clarify that statement.  On the show, she makes a number of interesting sounding dishes that I'm not sure would actually translate to something that would be successful as a restaurant meal.  I remember her complaining a few times about her staff, and that the area doesn't have the labor pool she really needs for her place.  That made me think that her place may not really be in sync with the town.  However, now that you've given me a better idea of what the area is like, it sounds as if her style isn't as big a mismatch as I thought it might be.  

1

Share Post


Link to post

I should clarify that statement.  On the show, she makes a number of interesting sounding dishes that I'm not sure would actually translate to something that would be successful as a restaurant meal.  I remember her complaining a few times about her staff, and that the area doesn't have the labor pool she really needs for her place.  That made me think that her place may not really be in sync with the town.  However, now that you've given me a better idea of what the area is like, it sounds as if her style isn't as big a mismatch as I thought it might be.  

 

I was wondering about that. Although, after she called out her dishwasher on national television for being an unfit parent because he ran an errand I don't know how much luck she'd have finding staff in a larger market.

2

Share Post


Link to post

Eh, she may have had a hard time finding wait staff or kitchen staff before the show, but definitely not now.  I've heard that before you serve there, you have to bus tables for a few months before you start, and it's pretty difficult to get hired on. I've got a few friends who work there as servers, and Vivian and Ben are both well-loved. They have huge employee get-togethers and it is definitely a family feel to the work environment. Restaurant business tends to be like that. 

 

I do think that at a glance, Kinston is weird place for the Chef and the Farmer--- but really, it's not.  Small town, situated between the coast and the capital, lots of produce, local meats, and homegrown items here. The organic food/local produce thing was happening before the Chef and the Farmer arrived in town, but they definitely helped popularize it.  There's a lot happening in Kinston right now-- even though crime and poverty are terrible here. But there are a lot of positives happening also.  

Edited by Apocalypse Cow.
2

Share Post


Link to post

So, the 10 layer chocolate cake is back on the menu-- sigh. I'm hoping my dad goes there this week and can bring me home a piece. 

0

Share Post


Link to post

One of my PBS stations is showing promos for a special called "A Chef's Life Holiday Special" - 1 hour, they're airing during prime time (9 pm next Tuesday). It looks interesting.

0

Share Post


Link to post

Chessiegal--thanks for the heads up about the special. My station is showing it Thursday. Just set the dvr.

1

Share Post


Link to post

I'm from NC and have enjoyed watching the show.  I'm glad the restaurants are doing well and are helping the local economy.

 

 I do agree with others who detect something with the female chef though.  If she isn't bitter, what is it?  I don't think it's snobbery.  She just seems unhappy.  I'm still not convinced that she has what she really wants in life. At least not in a rural NC county.   Perhaps, NY would have been a better choice, even though they didn't have the financing for that location. 

 

It seems that she sometimes puts a fancy spin on things that don't need a fancy spin.  lol 

2

Share Post


Link to post
SunnyBeBe, on 29 Feb 2016 - 1:01 PM, said:

I'm from NC and have enjoyed watching the show.  I'm glad the restaurants are doing well and are helping the local economy.

 

 I do agree with others who detect something with the female chef though.  If she isn't bitter, what is it?  I don't think it's snobbery.  She just seems unhappy.  I'm still not convinced that she has what she really wants in life. At least not in a rural NC county.   Perhaps, NY would have been a better choice, even though they didn't have the financing for that location. 

 

It seems that she sometimes puts a fancy spin on things that don't need a fancy spin.  lol 

I found your post very interesting.  I think Vivian is hard to figure out also.  I don't think she's a snob, but she does not seem satisfied with her life sometimes. 

 

My husband and I differ on our feelings about her.  He thinks she feels at home and natural when she goes out to visit local farms.  Sometimes that seems right, but other times I think she feels out of place when doing local events and visits.  I also think the local people she interacts with have differing responses to her.  Some folks seem genuinely happy to have her visit.  Others seem to look at her like she is a kind of carpetbagger who only returned to the area because her parents forced her to do so.

 

Also something that they discussed on a recent show got my attention.  They said they had been in business for 10 years at that time.  But they were unhappy that they apparently were still not making much money off the restaurants.  They hired a restaurant consultant of some sort to try to help figure out why they were not doing better financially.  Maybe that has had something to do with why they do not seem really happy or content a lot of the time. 

 

Finally, I do think Vivian is unsure of what she wants to do with her life.  For the most part, she has spent tons of time at the restaurant inventing new foods and cooking them.  Then recently, she said she has decided to not spend much time there, but to concentrate on writing cookbooks.  That seemed fine.  But then when she returned to the restaurant after being away for a while, she said she felt like an outsider to the place and was just in the way of those who still worked there.  Maybe the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence...

3

Share Post


Link to post

I think I understand Vivian and Ben but I can't express it in words very well. I think she is restless and wistful more than bitter, with a little bit of a temper thrown in to round it out, haha. I read an article in Our State Magazine (NC magazine) where it was said that it was her sister who originally coaxed her back home. She wanted to open a store with a side of food operation.  The first two articles here provide some background for the show:

 

https://www.ourstate.com/search/Kinston+The+Chef+and+The+Farmer/

 

If you are from the south, born and raised here, you "get" Vivian's personality.  I would compare her to Heartland Table's Amy Theilan. They have moved away and come back wanting to showcase their region. I think she does love food, does love the restuarant, but her goal is to move into writing and showcasing eastern NC food through other outlets. When I watch, I sometimes find myself wondering why Food Network hasn't snatched her up, like with Amy. 

Edited by stewedsquash.
2

Share Post


Link to post

Well. I am from NC and have lived here my entire life.  I have lived most of my adult life in the capital city of Raleigh. I am from a rather rural county.  I'm not sure I get her angst though. Perhaps she is just one of those people who is a malcontent.  I know a few.  They just can't find their niche.  Upon further thought, I wonder if she just struggles to consider herself successful unless she is working in NY, LA, Paris, etc.  Maybe it's more difficult to feel as if you have arrived, if you are back living where you started from.  Some southerners fare better in larger cities.  I did.  I just felt more at home inside the Beltline, with the things it had to offer, as opposed to a rural and less sophisticated environment.  Just speculating.

1

Share Post


Link to post

Ben has mentioned that both of them are not very social people and that it is hard for them that so much of theor life involves interacting with people and that was why he was so glad to have the outlet of his painting because he can be all by himself, Vivian doesn't really seem to have a similar outlet.

0

Share Post


Link to post

 

If you are from the south, born and raised here, you "get" Vivian's personality. 

 

 

I meant this in a rhetorical sense and not in reference to anyone posting. And perhaps "get" wasn't the correct word. I think maybe "know of a Vivian" is more in tune with what I was trying to convey.  I don't think she would be any happier in sophisticated Raleigh (sorry but I am rolling my eyes at that moniker, Raleigh and the whole area inside the beltline is just a bunch of urban sprawl with little towns connecting it) than she is in her equally sophisticated rural setting. I think she might make more money in Raleigh (or Wilmington, Asheville, Charlotte) since there are more people who would eat in the restaurant daily rather than it being a smaller amount of people in the smaller town. I think Vivian truly wants small town rural life and enjoys being where she is. I think she just wants there to be more people available to eat at her restaurant so she can make money off of it. 

1

Share Post


Link to post

I don't really get Vivian as bitter or snobby.  I do think that she is overwhelmed by the "fame" and the requirements that come along with it.  She's no longer just a chef, but rather a personality now.  I believe she is, at heart, an introvert.  And all of these events and people wear her down.  My interactions with both her and Ben have always been very pleasant. Both were warm and gracious and self-deprecating.  I've never heard any locals say a bad word about her.  I know many of her staff, and they all adore them both.  

 

I do think she is struggling with this transition from chef of a restaurant to a celebrity chef.  She's going from menu planning and cooking in the trenches to writing a cookbook and doing tv demos.  I don't think she's entirely comfortable with it.  

 

As far as the restaurants and money... in general, it takes several years to turn a consistent profit in restaurants. I think 4-5 years is average.  High profile restaurants in big cities go out of business all the times in metro areas. Both TCATF and Boiler Room are busy.  Unless you want to eat at 5 or 9:30, getting a reservation the week of is unheard of at TCATF.  I used to be able to get a table at a decent time with less than a week's notice. In the last two years, it's been several weeks-months before I could reserve a table.  They are constantly packed.  I don't think money is an issue any more.

2

Share Post


Link to post
Quote

 

As far as the restaurants and money... in general, it takes several years to turn a consistent profit in restaurants. I think 4-5 years is average.  High profile restaurants in big cities go out of business all the times in metro areas. Both TCATF and Boiler Room are busy.  Unless you want to eat at 5 or 9:30, getting a reservation the week of is unheard of at TCATF.  I used to be able to get a table at a decent time with less than a week's notice. In the last two years, it's been several weeks-months before I could reserve a table.  They are constantly packed.  I don't think money is an issue any more.

I have also heard that they are constantly packed.  That is why I thought it was strange that Vivian said they hired the restaurant consultant.  Whatever episode that was, she said they had been in business for 10 years at that time and were concerned about not being more profitable. 

 

It seemed the concern was because they basically were at capacity as far as reservations and diners most days.  So since there was nothing further to do as far as getting folks to come to the restaurant, there must be something else they need to do make a profit.  I think one of the things Vivian said was that they were advised to use up things stored in the walk in freezer to make use of the ingredients.  I don't remember if she mentioned much else that the consultant suggested.  But she and Ben both seemed to feel that after 10 years, they should be much more profitable and comfortable financially. 

1

Share Post


Link to post

I think the restaurant consultant was called in to help cut costs/turn more profit and be more efficient.  When you run a restaurant, you want costs to be a certain levels/percentages (ie labor at 25%, food at 30%, bar at 25%, etc.) in order to maximize profits.  Basically, I think their percentages (particularly food costs) were too high so they hired a consultant to come in and show them how to cut costs.  I saw the episode he came in (where they started charging for bread).  Basically, they were paying cooks to make bread (relatively labor intensive) and paying for the ingredients, with no return on that investment. Business-wise, that doesn't make sense.  There's only so much you can charge for food without it becoming a rip off, so maximizing food and labor makes sense. Although Ben and Vivian has worked in the restaurant industry for years, neither strike me as being uber-business or numbers minded, so hiring someone to come in with experience is completely understandable. It's not that the restaurant isn't profitable; it's just that it could have been more profitable since it is so busy.

2

Share Post


Link to post

I saw the episode he came in (where they started charging for bread).  Basically, they were paying cooks to make bread (relatively labor intensive) and paying for the ingredients, with no return on that investment. Business-wise, that doesn't make sense.  

I saw that episode & didn't understand it at all, getting a bread basket, or chips & salsa, or some kind of cracker when you sit at a restaurant table is normal, I don't remember any restaurant I've ever been to charging extra for it. Not charging seems like the norm to me. Personally, I think the problem is Vivian is still acting like a New York chef, but her customers are paying with North Carolina money.

2

Share Post


Link to post

There's a huge difference in making homemade bread and frying up chips. They aren't just slicing up a baguette from a food supplier and toasting it. They are making it from scratch.  It is incredibly labor intensive.  As I've mentioned in another thread, the customers who are eating at the Chef and the Farmer won't bat an eye at paying $2/$4 for a basket of bread.  If you are the type of person to eat at a restaurant where a meal is going to be around $50-100 per person (more depending on drinks), who's going to quibble at $2 for bread?  Very few places are serving complimentary chips or bread any more.  It's a huge money and time suck for restaurants.  Even many mexican places are charging for chips. 

 

You pay for what you get a TCATF.  The pasta is handmade, the bread is from scratch, etc. I worked in the restaurant industry for 15 years and there's a big difference in what TCATF is doing vs. your standard chain or even many locally owned/small business places.  Most restaurants don't source their food from local farmers. Most do not make much from scratch.  Why spend the money and man-power to make your own pasta to sell a plate for $25, when you can buy ready made pasta and sell for $20? Ultimately, these are businesses and out to make money. 

 

 

Personally, I think the problem is Vivian is still acting like a New York chef, but her customers are paying with North Carolina money.

 

Again, lots of people with North Carolina money are eating there every night.  I'm not sure what the implication is with that statement, but Vivian's prices aren't outrageous (plenty of other places have comparable prices), even for people with NC money.  Date night at Chef? $100ish. Date night at Outback?  75ish.  Which is the better experience? Definitely Chef.  

3

Share Post


Link to post

Again, lots of people with North Carolina money are eating there every night.  I'm not sure what the implication is with that statement, but Vivian's prices aren't outrageous (plenty of other places have comparable prices), even for people with NC money.  Date night at Chef? $100ish. Date night at Outback?  75ish.  Which is the better experience? Definitely Chef.  

I wasn't trying to imply anything negative about North Carolina, just that the cost of living there is a lot lower than in New York.

1

Share Post


Link to post

I wasn't trying to imply anything negative about North Carolina, just that the cost of living there is a lot lower than in New York.

 

That's true, but the prices at TCATF, while on the pricey side, aren't ridiculously high.  The menu prices for entrees usually range from 20-40ish, with the 40 plate almost always being some huge piece of steak.  It's only slightly higher than what most people would pay at any other restaurant, and certainly cheaper than other upscale restaurants I've been to in larger cities.

1

Share Post


Link to post

I found your post very interesting.  I think Vivian is hard to figure out also.  I don't think she's a snob, but she does not seem satisfied with her life sometimes. 

 

My husband and I differ on our feelings about her.  He thinks she feels at home and natural when she goes out to visit local farms.  Sometimes that seems right, but other times I think she feels out of place when doing local events and visits.  I also think the local people she interacts with have differing responses to her.  Some folks seem genuinely happy to have her visit.  Others seem to look at her like she is a kind of carpetbagger who only returned to the area because her parents forced her to do so.

 

Also something that they discussed on a recent show got my attention.  They said they had been in business for 10 years at that time.  But they were unhappy that they apparently were still not making much money off the restaurants.  They hired a restaurant consultant of some sort to try to help figure out why they were not doing better financially.  Maybe that has had something to do with why they do not seem really happy or content a lot of the time. 

 

Finally, I do think Vivian is unsure of what she wants to do with her life.  For the most part, she has spent tons of time at the restaurant inventing new foods and cooking them.  Then recently, she said she has decided to not spend much time there, but to concentrate on writing cookbooks.  That seemed fine.  But then when she returned to the restaurant after being away for a while, she said she felt like an outsider to the place and was just in the way of those who still worked there.  Maybe the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence...

I have been binge watching A Chef's Life for about a week....it took awhile before I started to realize that Vivian seems to be putting on a positive front while questioning and second guessing herself behind that positive facade....I'm realize I am going to sound dated and biased here!!  While I am all for women working and doing whatever they choose, I also feel like once you become a mother, you have to sacrifice some of your dreams and goals to raise the child(ren) that you birthed...you owe them your time, your care, your love, etc....a daycare provider, a teacher, etc can never replace a mom...I honestly do not think women can have it all, at least not until their youngest is in school full time...I realize many do not agree with this....and I wonder if Vivian would rather be home with her toddlers instead of working so many hours, I believe she wants it all (husband, kids, business) but beneath her lovely smile and laugh, I think she struggles juggling it all....

2

Share Post


Link to post

I have been binge watching A Chef's Life for about a week....it took awhile before I started to realize that Vivian seems to be putting on a positive front while questioning and second guessing herself behind that positive facade....I'm realize I am going to sound dated and biased here!!  While I am all for women working and doing whatever they choose, I also feel like once you become a mother, you have to sacrifice some of your dreams and goals to raise the child(ren) that you birthed...you owe them your time, your care, your love, etc....a daycare provider, a teacher, etc can never replace a mom...I honestly do not think women can have it all, at least not until their youngest is in school full time...I realize many do not agree with this....and I wonder if Vivian would rather be home with her toddlers instead of working so many hours, I believe she wants it all (husband, kids, business) but beneath her lovely smile and laugh, I think she struggles juggling it all....

Everyone is different, and every family is different. I would never generalize, so I respectfully disagree. There have been many good working moms. We have many women friends who have high level government jobs that have well adjusted children. Barack Obama turned out okay. I have nothing against women who choose to be stay-at-home moms, but it's an individual decision. I don't see that Vivian is struggling with her choice, just that she's a hard working person, and seems to have a natural angst.

3

Share Post


Link to post

I think one of those interviews I linked to did show Vivian expressing that she just wanted to stay home with her kids and was struggling with that and working. Or it might have been another article. But she did say it. 

2

Share Post


Link to post

I think most people at one or more points in their lives have struggled with decisions. Doesn't mean they made the wrong one.

1

Share Post


Link to post

Fathers also can have those same wants, the world just doesn't think it's weird if they put their career first. It's a ludicrious double standard and it's sad in 2016 that only working mothers get called out on it.

2

Share Post


Link to post

I've been watching A Chef's Life for a few years, but I just noticed this thread.

Apocalypse Cow, I enjoyed all your posts with your experiences at Vivian's restaurants!

2

Share Post


Link to post

I didn't think there would be a forum for this program on here so it is pretty cool to run across.

I am originally from Kinston - and the closest I tend to get to Kinston (if I am not going to the TCATF) is La Grange where family still lives. Once I left Kinston in college, I tried to never go back so I consider it a pretty major "thing" that Vivian's restaurant has pulled me back to visit for dinner.

It is fascinating for me that the restaurant is there - even though there is an attempt at revitalizing Kinston you still have that one area that feels more vibrant but the rest of the city is quite concerning  - a lot of income disparity, lots of poverty, and too much violence. I have sent coworkers on their way to the beach from Raleigh/Charlotte who end up telling me that they felt pretty uncomfortable being in Kinston so I still think it will take quite a bit more than just Vivian and the brewery to really make the city something of more of a destination.

The prices are really awesome based on what I am used to for comprable meals in Charlotte or Raleigh (and considred a huge bargain when you consider I travel and work in cities such as Chicago, NYC, San Francisco, and Dallas) - when I go with one of my friends we tend to order lots of different dishes to make our own "tasting" menu so to speak and I still think it is quite a bargain for a wonderful meal.

0

Share Post


Link to post

Thanks for the update on your visits to Kinston.  (I'm in Raleigh.)

What did you order and what were your impressions? Did you see Vivian?

0

Share Post


Link to post

I wonder if Chef and the Farmer, or Vivian's family sustained any flood damage from Matthew?

0

Share Post


Link to post

The Facebook page for Chef and the Farmer says that the restaurant is okay so far but that they'll be closed the rest of the week because of the dangerous travel conditions. They are serving locals and responders at The Boiler Room.

Edited by halopub. Reason: corrected link, spelling
1

Share Post


Link to post

I was at Barnes & Noble today, and while looking for Ina Garten's new cookbook, saw Vivian's cookbook. Holy cow - it is massive!  I thumbed through it briefly, and it seems to be well done. I'm tempted to buy it.

0

Share Post


Link to post

I just got Vivian's cookbook from the library. I was on the wait list for quite awhile. It is huge and heavy! 564 pages. There are some lovely photos and illustrations. Vivian writes just like she talks. It is really fun to read. Lots of stories and a narrative is included with each recipe. I can see why it took her a long time to write it! Really a nice book.

0

Share Post


Link to post

@Pickles I just did that whole splurt thing and fortunately I didn't have anything in my mouth. 564 pages??? I am going to go to the library and see if they have it. Or I might go to the bookstore and just look at it there first. 

0

Share Post


Link to post

Stewedsquash--request it from your library! It is a HUGE book! Weighs a ton. I need to spend more time reading it. I like it, but honestly, the size kind of is a negative for me. Really almost too big!

0

Share Post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now