Oil 12 x 16
by Georgia artist R. David Boyd, Jr.
more of his work here
I don't cook much...as you can see in the subject section of this blog, I'm not "in the kitchen" very often. Apparently, I'm not much of a reader either hmm...I'm not "in the library" because I'm usually neck deep in "mischief and mayhem."
However, I do watch a lot of SCETV, our local PBS station...while flipping through the channels a few weeks back I heard a familiar accent which brought me to an abrupt stop. Not just a southern accent, but an eastern Carolina accent...a dialect of which I'm a fluent speaker. A southern accent on TV that wasn't parody or documentary? Finally, an intelligent and positive reflection of this region.
These must be my people I thought and I put down the remote. I had stumbled upon the first episode of A Chef's Life...which follows a chef and her husband who return to her eastern North Carolina roots to open a restaurant Chef & the Farmer. I'm hooked.
But this isn't just another "farm to table" restaurant, Vivian Howard is a product of the land as much as the produce she harvests from it. An episode may find Vivian in a Grandmother's kitchen making fresh strawberry preserves or wading through a corn field with a barefooted farmer.
What makes this show special is its authenticity, recognizing this is not a trend, not a marketing tool...it's a way of life. It's way of life that farmers, their families and their communities have always followed. Folks around here knew this long before Wal-Marts sprang up on abandoned farm land throughout the South.
When the homemade sign goes up on BoBo Newsome Highway (if you're curious) announcing "COLLARDS FOR SALE" you know the farmer down the road has his crop ready. Sure, it's not artfully displayed like the produce at Whole Foods (for a hilarious read see here), only thing missing is the price and the pretension.
Want an up close and personal relationship with organic farming...I'll let you know next time a local farmer friend is broadcasting chicken poop on his fields and you can see it (and smell it) for yourself. There are no orchids or organic laundry detergent near by to mask the smell.
This past week's episode of A Chef's Life actually made me want to cook. Even with my circa 1975 stovetop with only 2 working burners, I figured I could do this.
For the recipe see here.
Grits simmered in milk, country sausage in the pan...and bourbon for some courage.
Not exactly farm to table...but my skillet to bowl was delicious.
Anyone up for a road trip to Kingston, North Carolina?!
A Chef's Life teaser from A Chef's Life on Vimeo.