Vivian Howard

Writing a description of yourself is really hard. But under instruction to list the things that make me, me - I’d have to say I’m a first time author whose young adult self dreamt of being a writer. I’m the mother of a twin boy and girl who once doubted her maternal instincts. I’m a chef who cooks for therapy. I’m a lucky daughter who counts her parents among her friends. I’m a strong-willed wife who loves her husband but often struggles to work with him. And I’m a television personality who can’t bear to look at herself in pictures. My greatest strengths are fearlessness, creativity, enthusiasm and humor. My most frustrating weaknesses are patience, organization and numbers. 

I always thought winning awards was for someone else and have been genuinely happy to be named a semifinalist 4 times in a row for James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southeast. But this past year, I won a JBF award for Best Television Personality and I have to say, winning made me happier than being nominated.

Ben Knight

Ben grew up in Chicago and moved to New York to pursue a career in art, so rural Eastern North Carolina seems like a strange place for him to settle. But Ben enjoys country living. He’s so comfortable here in fact, I often joke that he should run for mayor. In the past two years Ben’s grown to be an inspiring mentor for his management team at both restaurants and finds he enjoys that role far more than busing tables. He’s a hands-on leader who believes that if you’re good to your business, your business will be good to you. He’s also a wonderful warm and affectionate father.

Ironically, Ben wanted to move here because he thought he’d have more time and more space to pursue his passion, painting. Until recently, time and space were really hard to come by. In 2014 we built a studio in our backyard which gives Ben the perfect space to fulfill the growing demand for his colorful, texturally rich and beautiful paintings. You can find his work at Chef and the Farmer as well as numerous galleries in the South.

City Art Gallery, Greenville NC

Greenhill Gallery, Greensboro NC

Art Source Gallery, Raleigh NC