Watch Somewhere South
- 1 Season
Somewhere South is a show that explores the cultural heritage of Southern cuisine in the United States, hosted by chef and author Vivian Howard. The show premiered on PBS in March 2020 and consists of six hour-long episodes. Each episode is structured around a specific type of food, such as corn, rice, or chicken, and explores how that food has been adapted and transformed by different regions and cultures. Howard travels across the southern United States, meeting with chefs, farmers, and home cooks to learn about the history and traditions behind these foods and how they are prepared today. One of the key highlights of Somewhere South is Howard's engaging and curious personality. As a chef herself, she approaches each episode with a deep knowledge of food and cooking, but she also brings a sense of openness and inquiry to her interactions with the people she meets. Her conversations are never simply about recipes or techniques; instead, she seeks to understand the cultural significance of the foods she is exploring and how they connect to larger questions of history, identity, and community. For example, in the episode on corn, Howard visits the Gullah Geechee community in South Carolina to learn about the role of corn in their cuisine and culture. She talks with local experts about the history of rice cultivation on the coastal islands, the legacy of West African cooking traditions, and the ways in which modern chefs are interpreting and adapting these flavors. Along the way, she also picks up tips and techniques for making dishes like Hoppin' John, shrimp and grits, and a dessert made with fresh corn. Throughout each episode, Howard not only showcases the diversity and complexity of Southern cuisine, but also underscores the importance of preserving these traditions and passing them on to future generations. She often spends time with home cooks and community leaders who are working to keep these foods alive in their own ways, whether by teaching cooking classes, running restaurants or markets, or simply sharing meals and stories with their friends and neighbors. In addition to its focus on food and community, Somewhere South also incorporates stunning cinematography, beautiful music, and a strong sense of place. Howard and her crew take viewers on a visual and sensory journey through the landscapes and cultures of the South, from the swamps of Louisiana to the mountains of North Carolina. They also use music to underscore the emotional resonance of each episode, incorporating everything from gospel choirs to zydeco bands to highlight the connections between food and culture. Overall, Somewhere South is a compelling and enriching exploration of Southern cuisine and culture. Vivian Howard's passion for food, her engaging personality, and her commitment to understanding the people and communities behind these dishes all make for a show that is both informative and enjoyable to watch. Whether you are a serious foodie or simply curious about the history and culture of the South, this series is well worth checking out.