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Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  1,279 ratings  ·  157 reviews
Vivian Howard, star of PBS's A CHEF'S LIFE, celebrates the flavors of North Carolina's coastal plain in more than 200 recipes and stories.

This new classic of American country cooking proves that the food of Deep Run, North Carolina--Vivian's home--is as rich as any culinary tradition in the world.


Organized by ingredient with dishes suited to every skill level--from beginn
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Hardcover, 576 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 4.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,279 ratings  ·  157 reviews


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Start your review of Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South
Kim
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First-- watch A Chefs Life on PBS. We are big fans. Then, if you love cooking AND story buy this cookbook. It's my favorite and I have looked through hundreds and hundreds that didn't inspire. It is art.
Mischenko
RTC!
Cori
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love reading cookbooks that have stories sprinkled among the recipes, but there are more than just a few stories here. The author of Deep Run Roots writes of her childhood food memories and shares a ton of food history. If you love Vivian Howard’s public television show, A Chef’s Life, you will love this cookbook. My favorite chapters in her book are Turnips, Pecans, Figs, Tomatoes and Beets. Being a vegetarian, I was happy to see that a great deal of her book is fruit and vegetable-driven.
Julie  Durnell
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very well done cookbook, not too fancy just good farm to table fare with excellent commentary!
Rachel
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My sister-in-law got this for Christmas and I binge read it. My husband and I have watched A Chef's Life on PBS and always loved Vivian's food style. It always felt like she respected the Southern starting point without going off the foodie deep end.

This cookbook did not disappoint in terms of both amazing recipes and bare-all stories of regret. I found myself connecting with a lot of what she said. Particularly about having one foot in the South and one foot in another more cosmopolitan world
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Pamela
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-best, cookbooks
I would have given this cookbook 5 stars for the recipes alone, which are unique, pretty easy to execute, and tasty as hell. But then Vivian goes the extra mile and writes moving essays to introduce every chapter / ingredient, and I found myself dogearing my favorite passages and underlining the sentences I most wanted to remember. That's the first time I've ever done that in a cookbook!
Kate Cronin
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I adored this cookbook. Love, love loved it. Want to make every single recipe... well maaaybeee not the okra ones...sorry Viv! If you watch her PBS show you will already recognize her family, friends and teachers, and you will recognize how Vivian developed these recipes. The book is structured around ingredients, one per chapter, which is very much in the vein of how Vivian runs her restaruant. The restaurant is The Chef and the Farmer and is in eastern North Carolina, where she works with loca ...more
Jenn
Jan 14, 2017 added it
Read every word of the text and loved it. Feel like I know Vivian so much better and understand her relationship with her parents and siblings. Feel fortunate to have a boss who reminds me of this woman! The recipes are not things I'd make at home, but I've loved eating them at her restaurants.
Alissa Tan
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Moving writing and drool worthy recipes that are achievable and unpretentious. Vivian's the best!
Jessica
Nov 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks-2016
I wasn't familiar with Vivian Howard before finding this book, but I love a good Southern cookbook. I liked how she organized the book not by type of recipe, but by the main ingredient - everything from okra to eggs, peaches to pecans. At the beginning of each chapter/ingredient Howard gives a few page introduction to that ingredient from her past or perspective. Howard grew up in the small town of Deep Run, NC and couldn't wait to get OUT. But, eventually she and her husband come back and decid ...more
Nicole
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved reading Deep Run Roots. It's a glorious combination of memoir, recipes and deep ingredient knowledge. The ingredients in each chapter form a cast of characters as rich in personality as Vivian's friends and family, and almost as rich as Vivian herself. Deep Run Roots has not only inspired me to try cooking the ingredients of Eastern North Carolina, it has inspired me to try growing some of them (the few that will grow in north central British Columbia, mostly collards, turnips ...more
Josh
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
A cookbook organized by ingredient with dishes suited to every skill level and created from her acclaimed restaurant Chef and the Farmer, Deep Run Roots features pure beauty in two hard covers. Each chapter starts with the story of how that ingredient relates to Howard's life and how she has come to love it in her cooking and it's attachment to Eastern North Carolina cuisine. This is simply one of those beautiful things that doesn't come around very often and when it does, it tends to not be app ...more
Kimberly
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great book with interesting stories. If you like her cooking show, which I do very much, you will love the book. I don't know that I would make an awful lot of these recipes, but the history and the stories really make the book special. Some of the recipes are similar to things my mother made when I was a kid in Tennessee. Brings back memories. All that being said, I think the book is entirely too long. I don't know if she intends this as her one and only cookbook, but I think it could've easily ...more
Susan Webb
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I have enjoyed watching Vivian's show on PBS. I was eager to read her cookbook and find out more about her. There were things I read that made me think, wow, how will her parents, her neighbors or friends feel when they read that about themselves or what they do? Still, it was a pretty good read. The Collard Kraut story was interesting, though, I don't think I would have tried it based on the description! Some of the recipes were interesting, but a lot were down right strange. But, it is good to ...more
Glenn
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Its not so much the recipes (which by themselves are great), its the stories and tales that are attached to the food. All of a sudden I'm fascinated with cookbooks that tell stories about the region, the food and the people connected to a certain cuisine.

Up next - Taste of Persia...
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Karen Baldwin
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely love this cookbook. I was enamored of the PBS cooking series Vivian did, love her sense of humor, and there are plenty of recipes I can't wait to try. Will start with the sweet potato-onion bread and maybe some butter bean burgers!
Farrah
Mar 16, 2017 added it
This is such a great book. There's history, personal anecdotes, and recipes that a month ago I never would have thought about making. If you like Vivian Howard on "A Chef's Life" then I highly recommend this book for you. I could hear her voice in the passages.
Mary
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Christmas present to myself.
Long-time fan of the show. I hope to one day partake of a meal at Chef and the Farmer. Until then, this well-crafted book of love and industry will more than do. Thank you Vivian. Thank you Ben.
Elizabeth Palmer
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Did not expect a cookbook to contain such poignant essays! Vivian fully embraces her region, Eastern North Carolina, and her family's place in it. Captivating!
Megan Meyer
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fun and informative read. Can't wait to start cooking through the recipes!
Christine
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I adored her stories in this cookbook.
Elizabeth
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Now, this is how all cookbooks should be written!

This is not just any cookbook. Sure there are recipes, and lots of them. But what we really liked about the book is the very personal narrative that is included. It turns out that Vivian Howard isn't just a chef. She is also a very gifted writer, giving more than mere glimpses of her childhood, family, and experiences.

Even the recipe instructions are interesting to read. And not just for the information, but for the way that Howard's voice can b
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Laura Haske
Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
My favorite cookbooks have as much story as they do food. This one delivered on a story. It's a huge book with lots of great photos. I had never seen her show, so the approach of focusing on a single regional food item and exploring related historical and new recipes was a fun way to organize a cookbook. Her voice on the page matched the clips of her show that I watched. She's honest, witty, and humble.
William Burruss
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
Vivian was a graduate of (Virginia Episcopal School) VES school were my wife teaches. It is a school that went coed in the ‘80’s. This year for her work in cooking, education, Southern culture and hospitality, she was the first female alumni to receive the Alumni Award. My review may be bias, but after eating at her restaurant, The Chef and the Farmer, in Kinston, NC, my stomach was not. She has a remarkable ability of bringing Southern flavors in a cultured way. Her hot flashed Collard Greens w ...more
Mary
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Just skimmed over this one this week (it is huge!!). What an interesting read! Beautiful stories that remind me of my small Southern hometown and a lot of beautiful, traditional Southern dishes.
Amber
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great information on ingredients and preparation. The collards chapter was my favorite.
Sarah
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A trait I share with my mother is reading cookbooks like most people read novels. Luckily, many more authors are realizing there are those of us that will read their commentary . It is nice to see more cookbook authors cater to readers as well as cooks.
 
Southern food is a big umbrella that actually varies by region and geography, but there are also some foods that cross these lines.  This cookbook focuses on where Vivian grew up and where she an her husband operate The Chef and I. While the groc
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Michael
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, cookbooks
Excellent resource. I have followed Vivian for a long time, actually since she started on PBS and this book is such a nice reflection of her new life in North Cacalacky!
Mary
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What the cookbook is/does well: Storytelling and a 570-ish page ode to the Coastal Plain of North Carolina
What the cookbook is not: Organized for quick reference.
Who this book is best suited for: Anyone who loves stories with their supper and food anthropologists, novice or expert.
Three words to sum it up: Respectfully & Freshly Familiar

I was going to write a review of this cookbook, which I have been anticipating since I caught wind of its publication, but I cannot possibly write an unbiased on
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Lee
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this cookbook...in part because there was so much interesting information (aside from the recipes) to read. The author does a lovely job weaving together a personal narrative and cooking insight; and she does it all with a great sense of humor and style. Her writing is so engaging that I even liked reading about the foods that I absolutely don't eat, such as oysters.

The only reason I didn't all-out love this cookbook is that there were very few - in fact, barely any - re
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