KCBS Foodie Chap Podcast:
Tanya Holland is the Executive Chef and Owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen and B-Side BBQ in Oakland, CA. Holland is known for her inventive takes on modern soul food, as well as comfort classics. The author of New Soul Cooking: Updating a Cuisine Rich in Flavor and Tradition (Stewart, Tabori, and Chang), Holland is perhaps best known for her role as a host and expert on Soul Food for the “Melting Pot” series on Food Network, where chefs such as Holland, Michelle Bernstein, Cat Cora, Rocco DiSpirito and Michael Symon focused on different foods from around the world.
Holland holds a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language and Literature from the University of Virginia, as well as a Grande Diplôme from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Burgundy, France. She began her restaurant career in New York City as an assistant manager at Cornelia Street Café, Café Rakel and Nosmo King Restaurants. Later, she expanded her knowledge of the restaurant business by working as a Catering Office Manager, as well as a wine importer’s Tasting Assistant and a server at Mesa Grill. Her passion for cuisine led her to take on more responsibility as a Food Styling Assistant to Roscoe Betsill, of Metropolitan Home, Vegetarian Times and Food & Wine magazines. Deciding to turn her attention to the kitchen full time, Holland returned to Mesa Grill in 1994, where she worked as a line cook under celebrity chef Bobby Flay.
As a chef, Holland has traveled extensively in pursuit of more experience and knowledge. In France, she trained with Michel Sarran at Le Mas Du Langoustier on the Island of Porquerolles and with Jean-Michel Bouvier at Restaurant L’Essential in Chambery. She spent two summers cooking on Martha’s Vineyard Island at The Oyster Bar and L’Etoile, interrupted by a winter at Hamersley’s Bistro in Boston. She received rave reviews as the Executive Chef of The Delux Café in Boston and The Victory Kitchen in Brooklyn. Intrigued by the burgeoning West Coast food movement, Holland decided to move to warmer weather where she returned to the front of the house and garnered stellar reviews in her starring role as Creative Director at Le Théâtre in Berkeley, CA. This lead to the opening of the now famed soul food eatery, Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, CA. This brilliant Chef has served on The Board of Directors of Meals on Wheels of San Francisco and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Women’s Initiative. She is a member of the Chef’s Council for The Center for Culinary Development in San Francisco. In 2010, Holland was inducted as a member of the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier. Holland continues to the share her love of modern Southern fare by bringing home her passion for soul food and the amazing experiences shared through the act of enjoying a meal with family and friends.
Chef Holland is currently the California Chef of the year, named so by California Tourism Board. Add to that she is the Chef chair of Taste of the Nation – East Bay. On Sunday October 20th Tany and chef pals (FIVE, A16, PICAN, PLUM & many more) will descend upon the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley for a 4 hour tasting (3pm – 7pm) and you are invited. There will be cocktails by master mixologists and brews too. Get tickets now at tasteofthenation.org/eastbay.
You may catch her on the TODAY show or the CHEW but you can see her LIVE in person if you time it right at her two bangin’ joints BSIDE BBQ and BROWN SUGAR KITCHEN. Have the chicken at BSK or the ribs at Bside, but quite frankly it is ALL delicious. The cocktail program by husband Phil Surkis is impressive too. Saddle up to your table and enjoy the “dark & stormy” cocktail is my personal favorite.
Meantime enjoy my tasty talk with Chef Tanya, one of the great modern chefs in America and we are lucky to have her here in our backyard.
“5 Questions with Chef Tanya Holland”
DARK AND STORMY BBQ SAUCE RECIPE
4 TBS unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 TBS minced garlic
2 TBS minced ginger
2 tsp chili powder
2 (11.2 ounce) dark beer
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup Worstershire sauce
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 TBS double concentrate tomato paste
1 TBS dark corn syrup
1 TBS honey
1 tsp molasses
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Melt butter in a large pot. Add scallions, garlic and ginger and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes. Sauce will thicken and ready to use immediately.
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