Chef Andrew Zimmern made a stop in Cedar Rapids on his new show Family Dinner!

One of my absolute FAVORITE places to eat at here in Cedar Rapids is Vivian's Soul Food. Whenever somebody asks me for a restaurant recommendation, it's always one of the first places I mention. Everything I've had there has been amazing, but I'm a big fan of the fried chicken and baked mac & cheese. Just look at how beautiful it is!


Vivian's Soul Food and Vivian's Express Grill are both owned by the Smallwood family, and it's clear that they know their way around a kitchen. That's why they were recently featured on a TV show after a visit from professional chef Andrew Zimmern!

If you're not familiar with Andrew, his website says he is an "Emmy and four-time James Beard Award winning TV personality, chef, writer, teacher and social justice advocate." He is currently the host of the show Family Dinner on the Magnolia Network, which was started by Chip and Joanna Gaines from the HGTV show Fixer Upper. The site's description of the show reads:

"In Family Dinner, Andrew Zimmern visits families across America to explore how the cultural, regional, and historical facets of who we are inform what and how we eat, and all the ways food brings people together."

The Smallwood family was one of the deserving families chosen for the show, and they revealed on Facebook this weekend that their episode is available to stream on Discovery Plus right now! Andrew even shared a preview of the episode on Facebook, mentioning how much he loved the collard greens and banana pudding that they cooked up for him:

The Vivian's Soul Food Facebook page also offered a little behind-the-scenes look at the episode. They wrote:

"... we were proposed the opportunity about 2 weeks before filming. We know who Chef AZ is 100% but the busy-ness of life (aka VSF) really didn’t give us the chance to prepare like we were having a Celebrity Chef in the house… lol. He got the REAL DEAL. Kids running everywhere, Grandma needed a nap in the middle of filming (not joking lol), baby fussy because it was the dead of summer and HOT! This episode is authentically what dinner looks like at our house."

You can check out the Smallwood's episode of Family Dinner on the Discovery Plus streaming service HERE.

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