Brown Sugar Kitchen Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary – A Neighborhood Anchor Shares its Unique Flavors with the Community

Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Celebrated chef-owner Tanya Holland and partner Phil Surkis are proud to commemorate the fifth anniversary of West Oakland culinary landmark Brown Sugar Kitchen on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, January 15, 2013.

An ambassador for her city, Tanya Holland is very active in Oakland’s oldest neighborhood, prompting Mayor Jean Quan to declare June 5, 2012 “Tanya Holland Day” for her “Significant Role in Creating Community and Establishing Oakland as a Culinary Center.”

“It’s the best feeling in the world to be celebrating five years’ success here in West Oakland, our home neighborhood. At first people thought I was crazy choosing to open here, but now Brown Sugar Kitchen has become a major destination for people coming from all over the country to eat our food and experience our neighborhood,” says Tanya.

Holland has created two beloved restaurants, Brown Sugar Kitchen and B-Side BBQ (referring to the B-Side of a record — her own “B-side” to her hit Brown Sugar Kitchen) which celebrated its first anniversary 12/15/2012. She is also the author of New Soul Cooking: Updating a Cuisine Rich in Flavor and Tradition (Stewart, Tabori, and Chang), and the forthcoming book, The Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook (March 2014, Chronicle Books). Holland is also known for her role as a host and expert on Soul Food for the “Melting Pot” series on Food Network. Holland started her restaurant career in New York City and then moved on to work with celebrity chef Bobby Flay at Mesa Grill in 1994. She further pursued her culinary studies with a Grande Diplôme from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Burgundy, France.

Holland’s formal technique and love for her family’s heritage have come together to create her New Soul dishes at Brown Sugar Kitchen, showcasing flavors from the South, Caribbean, Creole, African and West African traditions. Her cooking welcomes all palates, with dishes like BBQ Shrimp and Grits, Smoked Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo, and the legendary Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Cornmeal Waffle that compelled Gourmet food writer Jonathan Gold to ask," Is 400 miles too far to drive for a waffle? Well, not if it’s from Brown Sugar Kitchen.” It is this elevated technique and approachable menu that garnered Michelin Bib Gourmand designations in 2009 and 2010, and Michelin recommendations in 2011, 2012 & 2013. The 2013 Zagat Guide gave BSK a score of 26, making it the highest rated Creole/Soul Food restaurant in the entire San Francisco Bay Area.Brown Sugar Kitchen’s little brother, B-Side, didn’t do too badly, also scoring a 26 – the highest score for any barbecue restaurant in the Bay Area! Holland was recently celebrated as the California Chef/Restaurateur of the Year for 2012 by the California Travel Summit based on her success in creating two dining establishments that exemplify the best in culinary arts.

Come gather with the Oakland community to celebrate Brown Sugar Kitchen and Holland’s perfect recipe for supporting her community in the center of West Oakland at 2534 Mandela Parkway. Open 7am-3 pm Tuesday through Saturday and 8am-3pm on Sunday. On January 15th, come join Tanya and Phil to help them celebrate all day at BSK! For more information, call 510-839-SOUL (7685). For menus and more, visit: Brown Sugar Kitchen is active on Twitter @BrownSugarKitch and on Facebook. Follow Tanya at @TanyaHolland.


Kristen Green
Kristen Green Public Relations

Kristen Green


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