About Chef and The Farmer
For additional reservation inquiries, please call our reservationist Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm.
Go to nowhere and turn left...you'll discover an extraordinary, epicurean experience where Chef Vivian Howard practices culinary artistry in a place steeped in tradition. Vivian has returned to her southern roots to create Chef and the Farmer. It celebrates simplicity, freshness and its own heritage.
Anchored in a building that has meant much to a small community where Vivian was raised, she and partner Ben Knight converted a 100 year old mule stable into a warm, inviting, uniquely modern atmosphere. Chef and Farmer, like its name, blends the old and the new, seamlessly, comfortably and unforgettably.
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:30pm -
If your preferred reservations are not available on-line or if your group is over 5, please call our reservationist Monday - Friday 9am -5pm.
Herritage & Gordon
$31 to $50
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Celebrating a birthday? Try the "ULTIMATE Birthday cake".
A delicious vanilla layer cake, with chocolate buttercream frosting and sprinkles
The "ULTIMATE Birthday Cake" |
$15 cake - serves 2-4 guests | $40 cake - serves 10 or more guests
To order, please call our event coordinator at 252.208.2433 x3
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Chef and The Farmer Ratings and Reviews
Have followed the show and this was on o ...
Have followed the show and this was on our "Bucket List"! Drove from Chesapeake Virginia just to visit the restaurant and a little tour of Kinston. Totally exceeded our expectations.......just wished Vivian was there, or to run into "Warren" or "Miss Lilly" would have sent our visit over the top!!
Already had our reservations for C&F and took a side trip to visit the Boiler Room when returning from Beaufort NC in August; it too was great!!!
Have to say, the best service at both I've ever had!!!
We watch the Chef and the Farmer on Publ ...
We watch the Chef and the Farmer on Public TV and fell in love with Vivian. We are foodies and enjoy trying new restaurants. We like the way Vivian works with the farmers and uses local, seasonal foods. We made arrangements to stop in Kinston on the way back from Myrtle Beach to Virginia Beach. We felt extremely welcome coming into the restaurant. The service was fantastic and the food was so amazing. We had four dishes and loved all of them. We started with a pork pate over apple slaw served with delicious bread. For the second course we had a salad of apples, squash, arugula which was amazing. For our main courses, my husband had beef short rib with a field pea cake and I had roasted pork. Both were delicious.
We finished it off with chocolate-coffee pound cake with hazelnut ice cream and orange crème. It melted in your mouth.
The Chef and the Farmer is everything I ...
The Chef and the Farmer is everything I was hoping it would be. It is easily one of the best restaurants in North Carolina. If you have not been, add it to your bucket list now. If you have been, you know. The seasonal ingredients and local farm to table thesis are executed to perfection. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and professionally trained. Where ever you are, it is worth the drive. If you are more than several hours away, then I would recommend making a weekend at the inner banks of NC and stop here for dinner on your way. Fayetteville, Raleigh, Wilmington, it is easy to make the drive and head home that night, unless you have had a few of their craft cocktails. This is a true gem and should be experienced by anyone with southern roots as a nostalgic journey to the way your grandparents used to cook with a modern interpretation. For anyone else who wants to know what true southern heritage cooking is and your current evaluation of southern food is a deep fried anything, then come change your experience and wipe away your stereotypes. If cooking is art, then The Chef and the Farmer belongs in The Louvre.
Pork rillettes with the bread service an ...
Pork rillettes with the bread service and the carpaccio were over the top tasty, grits and pimento cheese app good but not great. Oysters in the catfish and oyster stew were, sadly, only chunks of oysters, not whole oysters, and fried to chewy, rubber nubs. Redfish entree lacked something..., salt? Don't know what, just missing the high-end cuisine spark that I expected. Overall, a good meal but not good enough to make me want to come back frequently.
My wife and I made a point of visiting t ...
My wife and I made a point of visiting the Chef and the Farmer after driving from Texas and down the Outer Banks. Could not have been more pleased. From the welcome received when we entered through the wrong door to the top notch service and extraordinary food it was a great experience. Just wish it was closer to home so we could visit moe often.
Fan of the TV show so came quite a dista ...
Fan of the TV show so came quite a distance. Loved the open kitchen. Bartender was very good at crafting cocktails. Service was charming. Fried okra was delicious but small portion. Kale salad and apple squash salad were delish! Highlight of the meal. Gitch in pacing left us waiting too long for entree so weren't as hungry as we should have been. Short rib was good but didn't care for vinegar taste in beans. Porchetta was very flavorful but spaetzle was bitter. Unfortunately we didn't have dessert.
This place is absolutely incredible. The ...
This place is absolutely incredible. The service is on point - super respectful, knowledgable, prompt servers who take the time to get to know the guests. The food and drinks are outstanding. Seriously, Chef and The Farmer is really something special. Sadly we don't live nearby (we made a special trip here on the way back to Baltimore from our Ocean Isle Beach wedding!) or we would be here every weekend! Simply sublime. Thank you!!
Absolutely fabulous! Our server was nice ...
Absolutely fabulous! Our server was nice as can be, and very personable. My husband told him about scrapple back home and asked if he could try a piece of the Tom Thumb. They made it happen and it was delicious! The noise level was low enough that I could hear my husband easily across the table and we didn't have to shout. The food was excellent. My husband was a little wary given the descriptions but he had no need to be. Everything was perfectly balanced and opened up his pallet to something new. This place is high class without being stuffy or pretentious. We made the reservation back in July and it was well worth the wait! We will definitely be coming back!
All around excellence. A local phenom t ...
All around excellence. A local phenom that's proven itself to be a nationally acclaimed destination in one of the poorest small cities in Eastern NC. Chef and the Farmer is transforming the community into a once again vital marketplace.
The food and beverage is an ever-changing and never-boring event, which never fails our expectations.
We also recommend their other restaurant, The Boiler Room, which offers an even more relaxed (flip flops welcomed), walkin, family atmosphere of drinks, burgers, seafood, etc.
Thank you Vivian and Ben, and Staff! Oh, and a big THANK YOU to Mr. And Mrs. Howard for enforcing the "must be in Eastern North Carolina" requirement.
Fantastic from start to finish! Well cur ...
Fantastic from start to finish! Well curated beverage program and reasonably priced wine list complimented our stellar food and excellent service. Thanks so much to the team at the restaurant for what goes down in my book as one of my top dining experiences ever. Make the trip here!
I've been following A Chef's Life for so ...
I've been following A Chef's Life for some time on PBS. On this trip from Atlanta to Richmond, we decided that we'd take the sidetrip to Kinston. It was a great decision! We loved the food, we loved the service (Maria was great!) , we loved Ben's artwork, too! We didn't love the noise level - it was a bit frenetic. We'll be back!
Dreamy, delicious, delightful. What mor ...
Dreamy, delicious, delightful. What more can I say? My experience far exceeded my expectations. Plus, our waitress, Genevieve, was absolutely wonderful. She knew my husband and I were celebrating our anniversary, so placed a little candle on our dessert plate for us. It was a sweet little touch to make it feel special. Also, most of the staff remembered us from the night before and greeted us by name. It's small details like that, that make guests at C&F feel truly special. One day we'll make the trek from Ohio down to Kinston again, because it was totally worth it this last time!!
All our love to the staff!
What an emotional first visit! I was li ...
What an emotional first visit! I was literally shaking the second I walked through the door. Being a huge "A Chef's Life" and Vivian fan, it was a dream come true to drive the 10 hours to dine at Chef and the Farmer. The staff was immediately warm and welcoming from the second my husband and I walked through the door, to the minute we left. Everything was outstanding and far exceeded my expectations. Even though we didn't get to meet Ben or Vivian (because what are the odds?), the overall experience was wonderful and we'll remember it fondly for a very long time. Maybe I can convince my husband to go back for another visit in a year or two!
The staff was very outgoing and pleasant ...
The staff was very outgoing and pleasant. The appetizers were delicious but the entrees were lacking. The country ham dish and the Cornish hen were good, but the eggplant was smothered in sauce. The Bavette steak was too tough and chewy. The deserts were average. Perhaps just a bad night for the chef, but very disappointing. Definitely, not worth the money. I honestly think Ms Howard is an excellent chef and her success is well deserved, I hope my experience was just a fluke.
WONDERFUL! Food was perfect and the serv ...
WONDERFUL! Food was perfect and the service was absolutely the best we have ever experienced. From when we walked into the door until we left... felt like everyone loved what they were doing and it definitely showed!! Ben stopped by several tables to chat while we were dining including ours! Super nice and relaxed. He did not act as if he was rushed. We truly enjoyed his stopping by to just make sure we were happy and to just talk. Loved everything about this dining experience but do want to make a special comment about the fried Okra and Ranch ice cream.... WOW! The hot Okra with a Cold Ranch ice cream .... would never have dreamed something would taste so good!! Ranch ice cream needs to be available to buy in stores everywhere!! Thanks to everyone at Chef and the Farmer for a meal that we will
Excellent experience. Friendly greeting, ...
Excellent experience. Friendly greeting, seated right on time. Server Clarissa was charming and attentive. She knew the menu thoroughly and helped us make selections to fit our tastes. Bar made me a moscow mule even though it was not on the cocktail list. Highly recommend several shared plates to start (must have is the okra). All 3 entrees were home runs - and we even had a nice table side visit with Ben Knight. It is a bit loud, but it is a good thing generating from the buzz of the patrons and staff. Everyone was having a good time. Not cheap but absolutely worth it for the experience
We knew that we wanted to come eat at th ...
We knew that we wanted to come eat at the Chef and the Farmer when we were coming to visit Greenville, NC. We have been watching A Chef's Life on PBS for the past year and watching Vivian Howard grow as a chef. Overall, the food was great. I wished I could have tried the short ribs instead of the ham, but there's always next time. The eggplant, corn, and mozzarella dish was my favorite. I wished they could have named the flash fried collards to collard chips so I knew what I was getting into. The ambiance was very energetic, and we enjoyed sitting near the kitchen as we watched them cook and plate our dishes. I also enjoyed reading about the restaurant and the reviews on our way to the wine cellar. I would definitely recommend anyone to come eat at this gem in the middle of nowhere Eastern NC, and we can't wait to come back.
I have been many times but for company f ...
I have been many times but for company functions and we are always upstairs or in the private room so it's always quiet, the main restaurant is nice but a bit loud. The good was good except for the Amberjack, wish I had picked something else, I are it but was not my favorite.
I like this sort of dining but at $100 a pop it doesn't happen often.
Overall it was good.
The overall experience was terrific, but ...
The overall experience was terrific, but there were some areas that need improvement.
We arrived for a 7:00 PM reservation and had to wait almost 20 minutes before a table was ready. The server was very pleasant and took our orders quickly. The first dishes arrived within 15 minutes, but not together. We had to wait 5 minutes for the second dish to arrive. Luckily, my wife was having the Beef Carpaccio so there was no worry about it getting cold before my dish arrived. Both the Wood Fired Flatbread and the Carpaccio were very good. The next problem was the wait for the main dishes. After the first dishes were cleared, it took almost 30 minutes for the next course to arrive. Once again, both dishes were very good. The Fish, Clam & Shrimp Stew was tasty with a little heat. The Seared Tuna was perfectly cooked and very delicious.
We ended with the Peach Upside Down Cormeal cake and the Chocolate Coffee Pound Cake. Both were good.
Overall, a very pleasant evening, but the kitchen needs some work on the timing of the dishes. One note.....the restaurant is VERY noisy. This is not the place for a small, intimate dinner.
I was so looking forward to dining here, ...
I was so looking forward to dining here, especially since I have watched her show and live right in Jacksonville. They sat us immediately at the table right at the entry door. The setting sun was blinding right through the doorway for about 30 minutes. Keisha was our waitress and explained the menu and was fantastic. I hadn't realized the menu had changed since I made the reservation. I was looking forward to the tomatoe pie and possibly pork chops. But instead had a butter bean menu. All in all I found the presentation great. My friends are not very food adventurous, but enjoyed trying new things. Loved the fried okra. The sweet potato bread was wonderful, but no taste of the caremelized onions. I had the seafood stew. My friends had the chicken, which was super moist, but said the fig and other ingredients too sweet. We tried all 4 of the desserts to end the evening. I think I would try to go there when other things are in season.
I and my less than convinced spouse made ...
I and my less than convinced spouse made this a destination for our mini-vacation this week. I have been following the development of this restaurant and chef Howard on television. I've followed her lead experimenting in my own tiny kitchen. So, I expected great. What we encountered was better than any restaurant experience we've had in the U.S. Or Europe.
My first impression was of the staff. They were clearly working as a well oiled team and happily so in the dining area as well as the kitchen. Our meals, his the seafood stew, mine the roasted fresh pork with scallion fried rice, began with the Daily Bread-- a sweet potato bread served with a pork + pâté (I do not know the mix and pâté is my word). Let's put it this way -- neither of us has been satisfied with a meal since.
Don't worry about wasting your money here. Even the cocktails are top notch. And, really, it's expensive but not unreasonably so. I'm saving up for another visit.
Great experience. Have dined here before ...
Great experience. Have dined here before. Great service. Celebrated a friend's 75th birthday. Love the unique use of fresh local ingredients. Plan to go again soon. Ordered roasted chicken breast and short ribs. Both were delicious. The chocolate coffee pound cake and hazelnut ice cream were out of this world. The after dinner coffee was very bold and strong...so amazing! Did want the snapper but was only offered in a stew. The chicken instead was a great replacement, however. Love the bathroom. Candles, cloth hand towels, smelled fresh and was super clean. Wish the watermelon daquari would have been a larger size because I wound up ordering two any way. Traditional daquari drinks are much bigger. Consider dropping the word daquari and replacing it with another word? It was mighty small for $9.
What a wonderful evening we (my wife and ...
What a wonderful evening we (my wife and our 2 friends)had at Chef and The Farmer. This cuisine is so different it's hard to explain how fabulous it was. As soon as we walked in ,to the last bite of our scrumptious desserts, this was a dining experience we will never forget. Great service (friendly and knowledgeable,thanks Maria), and we had the pleasure of a conversation with Ben,the co-owner with his wife Vivian (who wasn't there that night,bummer). I will say. this place is not for everyone unless you're open to very a very upscale southern cuisine. If you're not that adventuresome give The Boiler Room a shot. This is the sister restaurant of CATF. great burgers and oysters. It's right next door. Looking forward to my next trip to Kinston.
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