May 20, 2019
Kinston is about as typical Eastern North Carolina as you can get. They have lots of barbeque, a minor league baseball team that’s pretty good, they support what’s left of the tobacco industry, and they keep up the CSS Neuse, one of the last Confederate ironclad ships, although Donald Trump is considering restoring it to attack Canada.
Kinston never had a really great restaurant, but that changed when chef Vivian Howard and artist Ben Knight came to town in 2006 from New York and opened Chef & the Farmer and later the Boiler Room and Benny’s Big Time. Then there was their PBS TV series A Chef's Life, which won two Daytime Emmys and a Peabody award. They are also Modernist homeowners! We first came across this talented couple when their Modernist house in Deep Run NC won a George Matsumoto Prize for North Carolina residential Modernist design. Host George Smart and guest co-host, NCModernist's Rebekah Laney, chat with Ben in the studio and Vivian from her car!