The Artistic Genius of In Situ


As with any director or editor, Lee takes gratification from teasing out thematic connections. "Creole BBQ shrimp and grits," a filling bowl of happiness by way of Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen, across the bay in Oakland, is a centerpiece of the lounge menu. A bellowing note of Worcestershire sauce pierces through Holland's recipe, adding twanging alto harmony between the soprano sweetness of the shrimp and the baritone rumble of the cheddar grits. 



13 Best Places for Fried Chicken in SF

Sonny Abesamis Flickr

"Celebrated chef Tanya Holland's buttermilk-brined fried chicken is the main reason why hungry crowds always pack her out-of-the-way West Oakland soul food spot. It's a stellar version that's light and crunchy on the outside, succulent on the inside."



The Dish: Tanya Holland

Chef Holland joins "CBS This Morning: Saturday" to share her story and signature dishes.

cbs this morning | video


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."



Soulful Seder

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. 

Sunset magazine


A Waffle Too Far?

“Is 400 miles too far to drive for a waffle? Well, not if it's from Brown Sugar Kitchen."



Cooking Up Sustainable Comfort Food & Community in Oakland

“Today’s Oakland is a complicated place, but in its best corners, it can feel like the picture of a truly diverse American city–the kind some people might be surprised to know still exists. Holland’s restaurants are some of those corners, and it shows in the pages of her book."

civil eats


A Love-It-or-Hate-It Guide to Thanksgiving 

“'I love Thanksgiving' Tanya Holland says, 'It's non-denominational; everyone's invited. My gatherings tend to be a little like the island of misfit toys. The chef is so devoted to the holiday that the she was a homesick 26-year-old student at France's prestigious La Varennes cooking school, she inviter her classmates to a Thanksgiving Dinner."

Food & Wine






Culinary SOS: Brown Sugar Kitchen's waffle recipe


The best waffles commercially available, I am prepared to state, come from Brown Sugar Kitchen, a small, fragrant breakfast diner on Mandela Parkway in West Oakland.

Jonathan Gold,  Restaurant Critic

LA Times


Best of the Bay 2016

Best Warriors and Waffles Combo

As if buttermilk fried chicken and cornmeal waffle lovers needed any more incentive to head to West Oakland’s beloved Brown Sugar Kitchen. Now add Golden State Warriors spotting to the list. 

EAst Bay Express


The Restaurant That's Changing the Face of Gritty West Oakland

"Tanya Holland dreamed of becoming a star chef. Who knew she'd find the best kind of fame running Brown Sugar Kitchen in gritty West Oakland?"



Oakland's Brown Sugar Kitchen is the To-Go Place for Warriors Stars

“Everybody knows the Golden State Warriors' slogan, Strength in Numbers. But a local restaurant owner has her own expression, Strength in Waffles, because she believes her food is helping the Dubs win."

ABC 7 News


Smoked to perfection

BRISKET COOKED badly is like shoe leather. Done correctly, it’s so succulent and yielding that you can cut it with a fork. “You have to leave on enough fat; brine it for flavor and moisture; and cook it slow and low,” says chef Tanya Holland, who makes possibly the best brisket in the West. Video available here.

Sunset Magazine


Local Style Maker

"City native Tanya Holland is happy to bring a modern twist to soul food classics, but she does it her way; 'in a straightforward and unfussy manner - just like Oakland itself,' Tanya says."



Black Women's Food Work as Critical Space

"Chef Tanya Holland opened her restaurant, Brown Sugar Kitchen, in West Oakland, California, on January 15, 2008. Since that day, the restaurant has become a community hub and Chef Holland's local and national visibility as a chef, restaurateur, and force within the city has skyrocketed." Read the article here.



Helping Restaurant Kitchens Reach Zero Food Waste

Blue Cart

"West Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen joined food-tech company BlueCart in a project to reduce food waste, although diner behavior remains the biggest culprit."

Civil eats