Vivian Howard talks food at Barton

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Barton College’s Friends of Hackney Library and the Friends of the Wilson County Public Library are cooking up a feast for their jointly-sponsored fall 2018 dinner/lecture. The featured speaker at the event will be Vivian Howard, Kinston chef, restaurateur, New York Times bestselling author and star of the PBS award-winning television show “A Chef’s Life,” which wrapped its fifth and final season this past spring. The event will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 9, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., in Wilson Gymnasium on the campus of Barton College in Wilson.

To accommodate the author’s prior commitments, the evening will begin early with a wine reception and book signing from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7:15 p.m. Copies of Howard’s cookbook, “Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South,” will be available for purchase, and the author will be available to sign books during the wine reception/book signing only.

Howard is the owner and award-winning chef of two Kinston restaurants, the acclaimed Chef & The Farmer Progressive Eatery and the Boiler Room Oyster Bar. In 2017, she and her husband and business partner, Ben Knight, opened a third restaurant, Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria, in Wilmington.

Next on the docket is a bakery in Kinston, Handy and Hot, featuring sweet and savory hand pies and serving a need in Kinston for “a place to get an excellent cup of coffee and something tasty, creative and satisfying for breakfast and lunch,” said Howard in an Eater interview with Hillary Dixler Canavan.

Howard’s “Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South” features more than 200 recipes and stories celebrating the flavors of eastern North Carolina. “Deep Run Roots” was selected as the winner of the 2017 Southern Book Prize for the Nonfiction — cooking category, and it debuted at No. 5 on the New York Times bestseller list. Howard describes the book as, “Part story, part history, part recipes, I’d like to think ‘Deep Run Roots’ is much more than a cookbook. And I hope it’s the first of many books like it I get to write.” Howard is now at work on a second book.

Howard’s debut cookbook has won numerous awards, including the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Cookbook of the Year Award in 2017, as well as additional awards in three of four categories in which it was a finalist.

Howard, her husband, and their two children live in Deep Run, near Kinston.


Admission to the event is $45 per person. As a large turnout is expected for the limited-seating program, priority admission, by mailed invitation only, is limited to current member couples of either the Barton College Friends of Hackney Library or the Friends of the Wilson County Public Library or a current individual member of either Friends’ group, plus one guest.

The members’ RSVP deadline is 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 17. In the event there are additional spaces available after the Sept. 17 members’ deadline, the event will be open to non-members, and the non-members’ RSVP deadline is Oct. 1.

For additional information about the event, contact Ann Dolman at 252-399-6507, or email the Friends of Hackney Library at fohl@barton.edu.