Arts & Culture

Must-See Southern-Cooking TV

PBS premieres a new show from Vivian Howard and a documentary about Patrick O’Connell and the Inn at Little Washington

Photo: Courtesy of Somewhere South

Hand pies in the making on Somewhere South, Vivian Howard’s new show on PBS.

Welcome two titans of Southern culinary arts into your living room this Friday with the PBS broadcast premieres of Somewhere SouthVivian Howard’s new six-part travelogue series, and The Inn at Little Washington: A Delicious Documentary, a peek inside the renowned resort and restaurant chef Patrick O’Connell built from scratch in rural Virginia. 

Howard’s new show is a departure from A Chef’s Life, the series that profiled her return home to Deep Run, North Carolina, to open a restaurant, Chef & the Farmer, in nearby Kinston. Somewhere South finds the chef traveling across the region to find the common threads between dishes. “I thought studying those dishes would be a great way to move toward the goal of showing how we’re all more alike than different through food,” she told G&G. First up, Howard will explore the South’s many varied hand pie traditions—from pepperoni rolls to empanadas.

The Little Washington documentary peels back the curtain of O’Connell’s remarkable career and transformation of tiny Washington, Virginia (population: about 130). O’Connell, who was honored with a lifetime achievement medal at last year’s James Beard Foundation Awards, is a self-taught chef. Raised outside of Washington, D.C., he bought what was then an old gas station in the late 1970s and built it into one of only fourteen Michelin 3-starred restaurants in the U.S. and about one hundred in the world—he calls it his “magnificent obsession.” The documentary follows O’Connell throughout an entire year—2018, the inn’s fortieth anniversary.

Somewhere South is scheduled to air Friday at 9 p.m. Eastern with The Inn at Little Washington: A Delicious Documentary following at 10 p.m. Check local PBS listings to confirm, then tune in or set your DVR and enjoy a much-needed respite from the news of the day.