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Tanya Holland    

Chef & Owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen; Host of "Tanya's Kitchen Table"

Acclaimed for her inventive take on modern soul food, as well as comfort classics, Tanya Holland is the Executive Chef/Owner of the internationally renowned and beloved Brown Sugar Kitchen restaurant, located in Oakland, California. The author of The Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook and New Soul Cooking, Holland competed on the 15th season of Top Chef on Bravo, was the host and soul food expert on Food Network’s Melting Pot, she appears on the new HBO Max show Selena + Chef featuring Selena Gomez, and is the host of “Tanya’s Kitchen Table” on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (airs November 14 – December 26, 2020). She is a frequent contributing writer and chef to the James Beard Foundation, and Brown Sugar Kitchen (Oakland, CA) has received multiple Michelin Bib Gourmand awards. She is an in-demand public speaker and lecturer who frequently leads the conversation on inclusion and equity in the hospitality industry.

Holland leads a critically-acclaimed podcast “Tanya’s Table” produced by MuddHouse Media and has interviewed celebrity guests in Season One such as Questlove, Samin Nosrat, Alice Waters, Danny Meyer, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Bassem Youssef, and Carla Hall. Season Two of “Tanya’s Table” runs from December 2020 through March 2021 and features special guests Ayesha Curry, Danny Glover, Bonnie Raitt, Phil Rosenthal, Lars Ulrich, Lizz Wright, Ericka Huggins, Jonny Moseley, and others.

Holland has appeared as a special guest on lauded national television shows, including the Today Show, The Talk, CBS This Morning, Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, VH1′s Soul Cities, Sara Moulton’s Cooking Live, Ready, Set, Cook!, and The Wayne Brady Show. Locally, she’s appeared on Bay Area shows such as Check, Please! Bay Area, View from the Bay, and Eye on the Bay. Holland was also a featured judge on Food Network’s Iron Chef, PBS’ The Great American Chef’s Tour, and TV One’s My Momma Throws Down.

Holland has contributed articles to various national magazines, including Sunset, Food & Wine, Signature Bride, and Wine Enthusiast, and has been featured in The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure, Los Angeles Times, Cherry Bombe, Stanford Review, Huffington Post, and many other publications. In addition to her own cookbooks, she has contributed to several chef compilations, including The Cherry Bombe Cookbook, Hoos in the Kitchen, Feed Your People, and America, and The Great Cookbook.

Holland has served as the president of the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier San Francisco chapter. The City of Oakland declared June 5, 2012 as “Tanya Holland Day,” and in 2013, former Mayor Jean Quan gave her a Key to the City and she was awarded “California Chef and Restaurateur of the Year” by the California Tourism Board. Having been appointed as a Culinary Diplomat by the United States' Foreign Service Department for tours in Kazakhstan and Mexico, Holland also has taught classes in France for gastronomic travelers.

Holland holds a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language and Literature from the University of Virginia, and a Grande Diplôme from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine (Burgundy, France). She began her restaurant career as an Assistant Manager at Cornelia Street Café, Café Rakel, and Nosmo King Restaurants (New York City). As a chef, she trained with Michel Sarran at Le Mas Du Langoustier (Island of Porquerolles, France) and Jean-Michel Bouvier at Restaurant L’Essential (Chambery, France). She worked for two years under celebrity chef Bobby Flay at Mesa Grill, and cooked at The Oyster Bar (Martha’s Vineyard), L’Etoile (Martha’s Vineyard), and Hamersley’s Bistro (Boston, MA). She received rave reviews as the Executive Chef of The Delux Café (Boston, CA) and The Victory Kitchen (Brooklyn, NY), as well as in her starring role as Creative Director at Le Théâtre (Berkeley, CA).

Holland has an expansive knowledge of the restaurant business due to her roles as a Catering Office Manager, wine importer’s Tasting Assistant, a Server at Mesa Grill, and a Food Styling Assistant to Roscoe Betsill of Metropolitan Home, Vegetarian Times, and Food & Wine magazines.


Oakland Chef Tanya Holland lands cooking show on Oprah's network
Tanya Holland, the soul food chef extraordinaire behind Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, is bringing her own television show to Oprah Winfrey's television network on Nov. 14.
The chef who put Oakland on the culinary map
A chef with soul food roots and classic French training, Tanya Holland is Oakland, California's most beloved restauranteur.

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