tanya holland

award winning chef, author, and restaurateur


Tanya honored by the warriors



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New york times

A Belle Epoque for African-American Cooking

At Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, Tanya Holland’s Creole shrimp and grits seems to be infused with concentric layers of flavor. Customers feel so passionate about the dish that they regularly pay tribute with love letters left on their tables. What she offers is a “California-ized” rendition of African-American comfort food, she said, but it’s about classic technique, too. Everything depends on making the grits early in the morning and making the rest à la minute — and then paying close attention.

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stanford review

Residential & Dining Enterprises
Food Plan for Mind, Body and Soul

This time the occasion was Mardi Gras. The place was Lakeside Dining and the chef was none other than Tanya Holland, author and executive chef-owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland. Holland is one of a handful of chefs who, according to the New York Times, represents “a new generation of black chefs and cookbook authors … reinventing, reinterpreting and reinvigorating what’s thought of as African American food.”


sunset Magazine

Soulful Seder
The Welcome Table

At Brown Sugar, customers of all races and classes commune over her chicken and waffles. For her seder, Holland wanted that same harmony of people and flavors. So last year, she and Surkis invited friends—African American, Jewish, or both—to their house in Oakland. The menu reflected the heritages around the table: It was based on seder classics like matzo-ball soup, but infused with the flavors of the African American South and North Africa.

Gloria Takahashi
Gary Phillips
Donna Bastien
Robert Campbell
Nicole Dominga
Wayne Davis
Anne Clark
Donald Amirpour
Jacqueline Sato
Daniel Muller
Kimberly Hill
Elizabeth Manalad

Looking to taste Tanya's Food at Brown Sugar Kitchen? Visit!


catering is here!

Tanya is pleased to partner with Blue Heron Catering to offer a fantastic range of catering packages. With Tanya's guidance, the chefs at Blue Heron have perfected recipes from both B-Side and Brown Sugar Kitchen to create menus that are authentic and delicious.


Since 1988, Blue Heron Catering has been designing customized packages to meet their clients specific needs and budget, providing full-service catering experiences. They are deeply committed to a sustainable Farm-to-Table menu model, providing exclusively seasonal offerings, and utilizing the local farm-shed support of the Bay Area.

Items offered include fresh Dungeness crab cakes, sautéed collard greens, bacon-cheddar biscuits, and Cajun pigs in a blankie with Fiscalini cheddar and mustard.