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  • Chef and The Farmer

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Chef and The Farmer
Chef and The Farmer

Chef and The Farmer Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.chefandthefarmer.com
  • Email: bk@chefandthefarmer.com
  • Phone: (252) 208-2433
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary Southern, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Vivian Howard
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), 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 | $35 cake - serves 10 or more guests

    To order, please call our event coordinator at 252.208.2433 x3

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Getting there

  • Cross Street: Herritage & Gordon
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Chef and The Farmer
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.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "We decided to celebrate my birthday at the Chef and the Farmer. We are very happy we did. The service was great, and the food was wonderful. Really, couldn't ask for anything else from a dining experience."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "This is not the kind of restaurant you'd expect to find in a small town. The Chef and the Farmer creates creative dishes starting with its Southern roots and elevating them into a unique and entertaining dining experience."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We learned about the restaurant from the PBS series and were intrigued by it. We decided to go there to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The restaurant is 6 hours from where we live, so it became a weekend get-away. The meal was worth every mile travelled! The restaurant was crowded, but we were seated at the time of our reservation. The staff was excellent--always present and attentive, but not bothersome. And the food was amazing! From the Pork Belly skewers in blueberry barbecue sauce, through the superb entrees to the rosemary infused vanilla ice cream that came with my dessert, everything was perfect. And within a short drive were several attractions that made our weekend a true get-a-away."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We drove from New Jersey to Kinston that day, specifically to have dinner. Had a reservation for 8:30, but didn't realize that we would hit heavy traffic/accidents on the way so we arrived at the restaurant at 9:29. Their official closing time on Wednesday nights is 9:30. We were welcomed with open arms & smiles. We were told to relax & enjoy the night. Drinks served right away, followed immediately with bread & butter and then we were fed fabulous, tasty food - started with butter bean hummus w/ olive & pepper relish and flash fried collar greens. Yum! Dinner for me was a thick cut pork chop w/ dirty farro and candied peppers, and my husband had trout w/ scallion rice, relish and something else delicious. Fab food, super staff=excellent!"
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "We visited to celebrate a birthday and anniversary. I was actually surprised at how busy the restaurant was and happy I had made a reservation. Everything was superb and didn't feel rushed."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "My husband and I with our 7 year old twins went to celebrate my birthday. A very memorable dinner. Everything awesome. Butterbean hummus so nice and my glass of wine was perfect. Ms. Susan our server was wonderful. We cannot wait to go back! Still thinking about dessert."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "I love the way they blend flavors. This is a real find. We love it."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Dinner number two at Chef & the Farmer was even better than our first. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to sit along the kitchen counter (a row of eight seats gazing directly into the open kitchen). It was such a blast watching the food being prepared, interacting some with the chefs & the smell of all the wonderful food being cooked was to die for. Across both meals we sampled nearly half the menu & dish after dish amazed. Highlights were the pork chop - clearly the best I have ever tasted; the grits with BBQ shrimp & sausage was so delicious & the wood oven pizza is not to be missed. All the ingredients are fresh, high quality & perfectly executed & the staff as personable as the food is amazing. Thanks for two awesome meals!"
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "As big fans of the television show A Chef's Life we travelled all the way from Chicago to dine at Chef & the Farmer; I am happy to say the meal exceeded my lofty expectations and I was blown away. Chef & the Farmer is the total package; a beautiful space tastefully decorated and enhanced by co-owner/manager Benjamin Knight's breathtaking paintings. Service is so friendly yet also remarkably polished. Chef Howard's seasonal farm-to-table cuisine is world class. Absolutely everything we consumed was phenomenal. Wonderful bar program to boot. Definitely one of my best meals this year and we are already speaking about returning to Kinston to dine at Chef & the Farmer again later this year."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "This is absolutely the best restaurant in eastern NC. We have been there about five times and have never been disappointed. The food choices are varied and always delicious. Wait staff is very accommodating and you can tell that they love their job."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Food was excellent. Price was a little high, but I like the idea of supporting the local economy. We were the last table of the night so the restaurant emptied out while we were eating. The staff continued to provide great services and did not rush us. Make your reservation well in advance and eat earlier in the night."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Kinston, NC--a long way from most every thing--by all means go and eat at Chef and The Farmer."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Reservations were about 2 weeks out for a Saturday night. Waited about 5-10 min past Res. time to be seated, but there is a bar to pass time if needed. Food was excellent. Shared the Pimento Cheese Grits to start, and then had a main course. This left us so full we didn't even get to taste dessert. Will be going back very soon. A must if you have the time to make the drive to Kinston NC."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Remember that friend of yours who took hours in front of the mirror to make it look like (s)he had just rolled out of bed? The one who used gel to get the hair tousled just right? It's like that. It's casual and hip and, if we lived in town, a place we could easily go to several times a month. But the flavors, presentation, staff knowledge, timing and skill? Yeah, they spent hours in front of the mirror getting that all tousled just right. One dish was a little too salty but I'm sure it won't be by the time you get there! This may sound corny, but you really will see the artistry on the plate before you taste the passion for good food in every dish. Well worth the six hour 'side trip' we made to get there."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "We travel to the beach regularly and we stop in every time we can get a seat."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "One of our objectives in visiting the Carolina's was to eat at the Chef and The Farmer. The 3 of us felt the service was outstanding from the minute we entered the restaurant to finishing an outstanding meal. The Garlic and Herb Stuffed Chicken, the Sage Brined Pork Chop and the New York Strip Filet looked and tasted wonderful. Each was perfectly cooked and seasoned. We enjoyed the flight of 3 dessert. The Warm Brownie Pudding was wonderful. It was salty, rich and scrumptious. It was rich but we finished it anyway. We felt the rosemary in the rosemary ice cream was too intense. We are looking forward to another dinner at the Chef and the Farmer we re-visit North Carolina from our home in Anchorage, Alaska."
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "After watching the PBS special, we were determined to drive from Raleigh to visit this restaurant. We had an outstanding dining experience. Susan, our server, was sweet, knowledgable and efficient. She introduced us to Vivian and Ben---definitely a plus! They were warm, friendly and made us feel so welcome. The service was exceptional as was the food. After our meal, we had a drink at the vibrant bar area. Thank goodness Ben walked by so we could thank him for a wonderful dining experience. We will start coming regularly. My birthday is in May and my wife knew, while we were there, that this is where we would have my birthday dinner. In a word: fantastic."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Chef and Farmer offers unique, locally sourced food prepared in innovative ways. Portions are moderate and prices vary from moderate for small plates to pricey for entrees. This is a unique dining experience and great for an "adventurous" special occasion."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Chef and the Farmer sparkled in a birthday celebration for my wife. We enjoyed a selection from each category: small plate, shared plate, large plate and dessert, and every step took us higher in our dining experience with a blend of flavors done just right and to a level that few other know but that they reach on a regular basis. We'll be back soon."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "This was certainly worth the 2 hour detour (each way) on a trip through North Carolina. The staff was very accommodating, and the food was delicious."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "great food from a very creative menu with a knowledgeable wait staff! Love that so many items on the menu were local and brought great memories to both of us of dishes from our past with a new and inventive twist. Just wish Kinston had more choices to spend the night since we have 3 hours to drive!! We will return!"
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "The pork chop and the shrimp and grits were excellent and the service was superb. It was very noisy though and talking was difficult, so we just enjoyed the meal. A great place for special occasions."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Outstanding quality and execution of fresh and organic foods. Feels good to eat well. Well priced."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "This was one of the finest dining experiences my wife and I have ever had. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who has a discerning palette. Also, the cost was very reasonable considering the quality of the food, service and overall ambience. We will definitely return again in the near future."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "This is worth the trip! There is not much around the area but it is worth the trip out there!!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "This is our family special occasion restaurant. As usual, wonderful dinner. Loved the flash fried collards."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Everything was exceptional including the service. You cant go wrong at Chef and the Farmer"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "I took a friend to Chef and the Farmer for her birthday, she had never been and really did not know what to expect. I had been in the past and loved it so I figured it would be a nice treat for a good friend. She absolutely adored it and we will definitely be visting again soon. The service was amazing and we could not have enjoyed it more!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "A+ Desserts were WONDERFUL! I would return for desserts. 2 people at my table said their entrees were delicious, & I agree after tasting. C- Unfortunately out of 4 entrees, 2 were not very good. I couldnt eat much of my Garlic Herb Chicken,tasted like a frozen dinner chicken. The side items too I didn't care for. Another person at my table had Flounder, so salty he couldn't eat it much. Bad sign when 2 of 4 people stop eating entrée, to go back to the bread basket instead. Were a group that never complains at restaurants, & I had driven 2 hours to go there, & so I told the server it was fine, but it was not. If we weren't there celebrating a birthday I would've sent mine back, but I didn't want anyone to feel bad at the table..."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Great expatations, filming, seated,Angela takes over with great ease.apps are great as well as cocktails. Main courses fill the bill for most parts,pork shoulder lasagna was so- so. Desserts were fireworks, so good . Want to return on a night like most nights."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "I believed that the food would be creative and thoughtfully prepared, and it was. The place was lively but not too noisy to enjoy table conversation -- very active and fun atmosphere, but also allowed for intimate talk with my date. The server was really helpful with our order -- she gave us a lot of information and guided us to make some delicious choices. We travelled a good distance especially to dine here and we would do it again. Great restaurant."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "This restaurant has quite a bit of buzz going on about it and I've been dying to try it. Overall, it was a great experience, good food, great service, good wine (and some very good bottle prices) however it's a little loud. Since Chef Vivian focuses on local, fresh ingredients I think I need to go back during another season (just coming out of the dead of winter there's only so much to work with yet). I'd really like to see what she could do with some of the great spring and summer produce that's coming. Love the wood-burning oven. Didn't get a pizza but would love to try one, I will definitely return."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "The Chef and Farmer is a wonderful find. The atmosphere is very energetic and happy. One receives polite and pleasant service from many areas. The food is amazing with Share Dishes to Salads to the wonderful entrees. If you want your spirits lifted and your appetite pampered, take the time to make reservations here. We cannot say enough about this restaurant!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Food selection was exemplary. Each had a diff entree & all very satisfied. Shared plate was excellent. Desserts were decadent. Hostess was engaging & made certain all was well. Wait person was most professional! She was superb. Have dined throughout US & abroad & she rates tops anywhere. A gem & great ambassador for the restaurant."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Chef & the Farmer is amazing. I feel like I have been "somewhere" after eating there. Love the bare cement floor, the colorful, abstract artwork on the walls, of course the food is off the charts. Staff is helpful and friendly. Love the variety in the menu- and not too many choices-just enough, reused wine bottles are used for your drinking water at your table (love that). What else? Cloth hand towels and Myer's hand soap in the bathroom. I could go on and on...worth the drive, worth the money. Great food and kind people."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Is it possible to give it 6 stars?? We had the best yellow-tail and pork chop. The salad was fresh and delicious. The dessert had such different flavors that blended so well. The ambiance was warm and inviting, but also contemporary and interesting. The wait staff was great and unobtrusive. We will be back as soon as we can. It was worth the 1 1/2 hour drive to the restaurant."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "My wife and I really enjoyed our recent dinner at the Chef and The Farmer. The sauces with my Striped Bass and my wife's pork cheeks were delicious. Vivian and her team have a great imagination in developing wonderful meals. We've been to Husk in Charleston twice and The Chef and The Farmer is 100% better; better service, more delicious meals, and a whole better experience."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "The food and service was excellent. Enjoyed the fine dining experience which is unlike anything in our area."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "My husband, brother, and I thoroughly enjoyed Chef and the Farmer! The atmosphere was great. The restaurant looks really nice inside. The staff was very friendly. We showed up a half hour ahead of our reservation and we were seated immediately. The food was amazing! The meat so tender it melted in your mouth. We will definitely eat there again when we are in the area."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "My wife and I grew up in the DC area, and became accustomed to having countless fine dining restaurants available within a 20 mile radius to choose from. While there are a few nice restaurants in Wilmington, and many 2 hrs away in Raleigh...there are ZERO fit for a special occasion in the Jacksonville area. This place is wonderful! It is pricey, but the quality of food is well worth every cent. My wife and I will be dining here for all special occasions until I am stationed elsewhere."
    Dined on 3/15/2014