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Host and award-winning chef Vivian Howard explores the lesser known roots of southern food, cooking and living. Howard also examines cross-cultural dishes, such as dumplings and beans and rice, enjoyed by diverse communities. Breaking bread with farm laborers, doctors, entrepreneurs, ecologists, chefs, grandmothers and more unearths the complex values, identities and storied pasts of the southern United States.

PBS
1 Season, 6 Episodes
March 27, 2020
Food, Travel, Documentary & Biography
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Somewhere South Full Episode Guide

  • Southerners are particular about the way they cook and eat barbecue. No dish says eastern North Carolina more than the region's signature whole hog barbecue; however, the art of cooking meat over fire and smoke is one shared by all cultures. On a tour of eastern North Carolina barbecue joints, Vivian is reminded of traditions that define the area's version of pork barbecue while being introduced to new techniques.

  • Vivian is invited to the annual homecoming celebration held by the Lumbee Indians in southeastern North Carolina. There Vivian is introduced to the Lumbees' famous collard sandwich and gets the chance to see the unique way they fix their greens: sauteing thinly sliced greens in rendered pork or sausage grease. She's struck by how the Lumbee method differs from the long-stewed pot of collards she grew up eating only about a 100 miles away. Her lessons with the Lumbees

  • Vivian is tapped to give a lecture on the wide world of pickles at the first ever Chow Chow Festival in Asheville, N.C. Her turn as a pickle professor sparks a deeper look at the funk and acidity that fermented or vinegar pickles bring to most meals and how those pickles make a belly-filling bowl of rice or grains so much more delicious.

  • While cooking a charity dinner with Southern-Korean chefs, Vivian spins out her version of French gnocchi to be served alongside Asian dumplings descended from the Chinese royal court tradition. During their discussion, the chefs realize that while they all understand what a dumpling is, they can't actually define it. On her quest to figure out that conundrum, Vivian quickly learns that no one culture can define a dumpling.

  • Vivian heads to Charleston, S.C. to cook a special dinner honoring the late pioneering African American chef, Edna Lewis. At the event, she serves grits, the simple Southern staple among the many foods Lewis famously exalted.

  • As Vivian tries to mass produce hand pies, she learns the historical ties between this convenience food, labor and migration.

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