“A Chef’s Life” to Culminate in Harvest Special

“A Chef’s Life” to Culminate in Harvest Special on Oct 22

PBS host Vivian Howard will close out five seasons of A Chef’s Life with a harvest special  on PBS stations across the country (check local listings).

This special episode of A Chef’s Life will serve as the series’ finale in which Howard hosts a harvest dinner of epic proportions. After five seasons, only a handful of dishes remain on Vivian’s bucket list. In this final chapter, she tackles them all: Vivian and Ms. Lillie clean out Warren Brothers’ pepper patch to make this late summer relish some call chow chow and others call “Southern kimchi.” Vivian’s search for a couple of quintessential North Carolina ingredients take her to opposite ends of the state. She finds pawpaws — a tropical-tasting fruit — in a backyard orchard near Goldsboro, N.C. Howard revisits memorable clips from past seasons and shares never-before-seen footage as the show’s most beloved personalities gather for this celebration.

The series finale is produced by Markay Media in association with the Carolinas’ two statewide public broadcasters, South Carolina ETV and UNC-TV, with support from the ETV Endowment of South Carolina.

A Chef’s Life began airing on PBS stations nationally in 2013. The show won a Peabody Award for the first season. In 2015, Cynthia Hill, the show’s director and founder of Durham, N.C.-based Markay Media, took home an Emmy for Best Directing in a Lifestyle/Travel/Culinary Program. The following year, Howard was awarded a James Beard medal for Best Host or Personality. In 2018, the show received a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Culinary Program.

A Chef’s Life has been more than just a TV show for a lot of people,” said Howard. “I’m happy we have the harvest special as the celebratory capstone that the series deserves.”

Howard and Hill are working on a new series for PBS to air in 2019. The new series will feature six one-hour episodes focusing on cross-cultural dishes that have found a home in the American South. No air date has been chosen yet. No series name has been finalized. “The new series will be an evolution of the show our fans love,” Howard added. “It’s humbling to hear how much ‘A Chef’s Life’ has touched people. We don’t take that support and investment in our work lightly. We’ll do our best to make sure our new show projects the same spirit as our last.”

Check your local PBS listing for air dates and times in your viewing area.

For North Carolina fans, there will be a special viewing of the series finale at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at Kinston’s Grainger Stadium, home of the Down East Wood Ducks. Tickets cost $10 and are available for purchase at milb.com/down-east.


Over five seasons of Emmy and Peabody Award-winning docuseries, “A Chef’s Life,” chef and best-selling author Vivian Howard has given her beloved eastern North Carolina a national platform. Crowned “The Collard Queen” by some, “The First Lady of Carolina Cooking” by others and a “rural Princess Leia” by the New York Times, Vivian takes millions of viewers on a heartwarming and compelling journey to meet unsung farmers, home cooks, and chefs, while simultaneously elevating quintessential Southern dishes to new modern classics.

Like most of us, Vivian’s world is ever-changing, and although her life seems exceptional, the hurdles she meets and overcomes convey a human story that translates across race, class, and gender. With food as its conduit, “A Chef's Life” shares the successes and challenges Vivian faces as an award-winning cookbook author, owner of multiple restaurants, daughter, wife, and mother of twins. These roles intersect to create a down-to-earth portrait of a woman who shares her daily successes and challenges with four million viewers per episode. For more, visit achefslifeseries.com


Markay Media is a Durham, N.C.-based television and documentary film production company. Founder and Emmy award-winning director Cynthia Hill is also known for her work on the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary film “Private Violence” and “Road to Race Day,” an eight-part series that delves into the inner-workings of Hendrick Motorsports, one of NASCAR’s winningest teams. For more, visit markaymedia.com


South Carolina ETV is South Carolina’s public educational broadcasting network. Using television, radio and the web, ETV's mission is to enrich lives by educating children, informing and connecting citizens, celebrating our culture and environment and instilling the joy of learning. SCETV currently presents “A Chef’s Life,” “Expeditions,” “Reel South,” and “For Your Home” on public television in addition to national radio productions “Piano Jazz” and “Chamber Music from Spoleto Festival USA.” SCETV began in 1958 in the library of Dreher High School in Columbia, S.C. and now comprises 11 TV stations, eight radio stations, and a statewide tower network that serves schools, hospitals, and emergency management teams. For more, visit scetv.org


On air, online and in person, UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina connects North Carolinians to each other, the world and endless possibilities. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the statewide network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery, and four over-the-air channels—UNC-TV PBS & More, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS KIDS and the Explorer Channel. For more, visit unctv.org

For media inquiries, contact: Andrea Weigl, Markay Media andrea@markaymedia.com 919-518-7679