Communal Table Podcast: Vivian Howard

The restaurateur, author, and TV star talks about Southernness, pride, pivots, and politics.

Vivian Howard
Photo: Baxter Miller

Chefs and restaurant workers take great care of everyone else, but often they need a little help themselves. Each week, Food & Wine senior editor Kat Kinsman talks with hospitality pros about they manage their business, brain, and body for the long haul. Is there a topic you'd like to know more about or a guest you'd love to hear from? Tell us at or tweet to Kat @kittenwithawhip, and subscribe to the weekly Food & Wine Pro newsletter so you never miss an episode. Catch up on previous episodes here.

Episode 83: Vivian Howard

It took leaving home for Vivian Howard to appreciate where she'd come from. The chef, restaurateur, TV star, and author of the new cookbook This Will Make It Taste Good is the daughter of an Eastern North Carolina tobacco farmer, and everything she saw on TV told her that she shouldn't be especially proud of that, that southernness was somehow the butt of a joke. She moved away to New York City, started working in restaurants, and came to realize how special the food and culture of her birthplace are. As an evangelist for her region, she's gained a battalion of fans of her books, shows, and restaurants, but politics have made her feel pretty isolated right now. Howard joined Food & Wine for an honest, intimate conversation about business during a pandemic, the power of home cooking, and the pain of political division.

Links and Resources


Buy: This Will Make It Taste Good

Buy: Deep Run Roots

Read: How Vivian Howard Is Launching New Businesses During the Pandemic

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Previous episode: The Final Table star Timothy Hollingsworth talks about kitchen intensity, belonging, and cooking for your mom.

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