Oakland chef lands cooking show on Oprah Winfrey's OWN

"What I'm doing is so significant and it's not about me - it's not about my ego."
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A Bay Area chef has landed a national cooking show on Oprah's Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Chef Tanya Holland is in the national spotlight with a new program called "Tanya's Kitchen Table" on the OWN.

Holland first opened Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland in 2008. She then moved locations and expanded her restaurant Uptown in 2019.

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"I call the food here new-style, down-home. It's definitely comfort food," said Tanya Holland, Executive Chef and Owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland.

She's now sharing her recipes that have made her restaurant an Oakland staple with the world.

Her new show "Tanya's Kitchen Table" debuted on OWN. It was a dream more than a decade in the making that came together quickly.

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No, there was no call from Oprah. It started with a LinkedIn message from a talent manager.

"What was surprising is how fast it happened. Within a week they were like 'Okay, we're doing a show'," said Holland.

A month later, the first episode debuted. Each half-hour episode features recipes from her first cookbook "Brown Sugar Kitchen" and a friend, pulling up a chair to "Tanya's kitchen table."

Holland said the show came together right on time. Like most restaurants during the pandemic she's struggling to stay afloat, only pulling in 25% of typical revenue with takeout only.

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"The timing is amazing," she said, "Television has been a way to just get more people in the door and get people knowing our cuisine."

In the premiere episode Holland walked thru the recipe to her famous fried chicken and bacon cheddar green onion biscuits-you can find both at her Uptown restaurant.

"Tanya's Kitchen Table" is a part of a block of four new cooking shows on OWN showcasing four Black chefs, elevating Black cuisine.

Holland said this recognition of Black chefs is long overdue.

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"What I'm doing is so significant and it's not about me - it's not about my ego," she said, "It's about what needs to be created for our culture, what we are due, what we should have. Why aren't there a dozen restaurants that look like this that are Black-owned in Oakland, California."

In the upcoming second episode she shows viewers how to make her jerk baby back ribs and dirty rice.

"Tanya's Kitchen Table" airs at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays on OWN TV.

In the meantime, Holland hopes people continue to patronize her restaurant by ordering takeout or by picking up her cookbook so her business can survive the pandemic.
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