Who is better to host an intimate, relaxing, and yummy New Year’s Day brunch than Vivian Howard? She is an Emmy and James Beard award-winning cook, television personality, and author. The restaurant owner has a gift of making people feel relaxed and at home, whether with the recipes in her most recent cookbook or dining in one of the restaurants in Eastern North Carolina (where she’s originally from) or Charleston. So we asked her for advice to get through the final Day of the ever-longer festive season with ease and grace.

On Where She Discovered Her Love of Cooking

“Growing up as a kid, cooking wasn’t something that brought us a lot of pleasure in my household. However, we all enjoyed eating food. That’s the way we interact. This is how we share. We discuss what we’ll eat the next meal as we eat one meal. My mother was a competent cook, but she didn’t interest in taking me to the kitchen with her. 

She was very straightforward, working in the kitchen to do her job. So I was drawn to cooking to make it into an occupation in food writing. And it was sort of fate that I was able to get into the restaurant in New York the City’s West Village as a server. And I could follow my dream of writing by doing something I enjoy food, which is why I love it. So I began working in the kitchen; I’ve discovered that I was a fan of working in the kitchen. I loved the camaraderie associated with working towards the same purpose. I was a fan of making things using my hands, and I had a knack for doing it. You know that we all like to be good at what we’re skilled at.”

How Vivian Howard Entertains: 

Food is the main reason Howard entertains and is fully aware that guests expect an excellent meal when they dine at her house. This is particularly true during the holiday season, when many tradition-based family gatherings revolve around cooking activities. One of her favorites is to cook sausage on the grill before dining on biscuits as they open gifts on the morning of Christmas. In addition, the New Year’s Eve celebration is full of traditions and folklore that go with it, which Howard enjoys dipping on.

“I would like to incorporate every element we are thinking about during New Year’s Day: peas and collards, field or black-eyed, and cook a stew similar to the one we had on Christmas,” says Howard. “That is a way to not be at the kitchen trying to create New Year’s Day happen, and I prefer to make it as a perfect brunch option with a poached egg served on top of the stew. And it’s not too laborious. If I don’t possess those components, I’m likely to be in a bad spot.”

Just the Tips 

A new mini-episode is launched every Tuesday on Howard’s Instagram stories. This week, she posted on the Instagram feed to let people know that a popular cooking technique for brunch has ruined what she calls “one of the greatest spring gifts.” 

How Vivian Howard Celebrating New Year’s Day

Howard states that she has celebrated New Year’s event and the Day in the same manner for the past few years. She’s been with her children and two couples who enjoy tasty food, games, and lots of drinks with the grown-ups. However, Howard says her family must make sure that New Year’s Day is still enjoyed casually, as it’s usually a day to get started clearing out Christmas decorations and getting kids ready for the return to school.

“Gather those you’re comfortable with, close friends who can discuss how you’re planning to spend the coming year in a meaningful manner,” Howard advises. 

Vivian Howard New Year’s Day table 

When it comes to setting a New Year’s Day table, Howard likes to keep it basic, stating that she is upset when a meal is more about the table’s appearance than food and the company. But, she loves to bring the yard inside by decorating the table with flowers and arranging greenery in bud vases. Nothing that can distract from the primary task to be accomplished is sharing food, Howard adds.

About her New Book: This Will Make It Taste Good 

“This book is a bit distinct from Deep Run Roots, which I would say, in my opinion, was a love story about the ingredients and food of the eastern part of North Carolina. Instead, this is an easy-going, enjoyable book that is designed to change how you cook in the kitchen completely.”

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