PBS’s “A Chef’s Life,” directed by UNC graduate Cynthia Hill, won a Peabody Award at the beginning of this month.
The show tells the story of a cooking couple and their high-end, farm-to-fork restaurant in Kinston.
Hill said she and Vivian Howard , head cook at Chef & the Farmer and star of the show, worked together to incorporate elements of both a reality show and a cooking show.
The show portrays the culture of Eastern North Carolina through locally grown food and relationships. As a reality show, “A Chef’s Life” follows Howard and her husband Ben Knight as they raise twins and run a restaurant together. On each show, Howard shares how to make a unique recipe come alive.
Although this dynamic is unusual, Hill said the Peabody reminded her and the show’s whole team that what they are doing is important and is working.
“It’s nice when the reality of it is even better than the idea is,” Hill said.
And the reality of “A Chef’s Life” is that it has done more than win awards.
Malinda Lowery , director of UNC’s Southern Oral History Program and co-producer of the show, said “A Chef’s Life” is working to break stereotypes about the South.