She may be an award-winning chef, restauranteur, TV personality and freshly-minted cookbook author, but Vivian Howard also is a proud North Carolinian.
Eastern North Carolinian, to be exact.
During her Dec. 15 Eloise Cofer Lecture on connecting food, family and community, Howard shared stories of growing up in Deep Run, N.C., and how, as a teenager, she couldn’t wait to leave town. But her journey brought her back home, and her life’s work now focuses on celebrating the region.
“We have a lot more work to do, but we’ve changed the way people see Kinston … the South, southern foods and agriculture,” Howard said. “It’s a product of [A Chef’s Life] that I’m really proud of, for people to have a sense of pride in themselves. It’s such a tremendous gift.”
Howard addressed the packed house at NC State’s Stewart Theater as a community – not an audience – and spent most of her time that evening answering questions and engaging in conversations with folks who had traveled from throughout the state to meet her.
“In order for us to have healthy food systems and a healthy population, we have to have pride in who we are and where we come from,” Howard said. “That’s what I’m going to continue to work toward.”
Check out our video for a sneak peek of Howard’s day on campus, which also included a book-signing at Talley Student Center and a meeting with faculty from the CALS Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences.
Affable, humble and deeply proud of her Eastern North Carolina roots, Howard engaged her fans throughout the day, delivering a meaningful, unforgettable experience.