St. Helena, CA – Tanya Holland, executive chef and owner of Brown
Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, CA, delivered the keynote address during commencement
at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, CA on April 13.
A record 63 candidates received associate degrees in Culinary Arts and Baking
& Pastry Arts at the ceremony.
“It’s not enough to just know
how to cook,” Chef Holland told the graduates. “You need to learn how to dance
around challenges and be willing to get out of your comfort zone in order to
grow. Be flexible, don’t rush, and don’t step on your dance partner’s toes. Be
graceful and gracious and collaborate. And don’t forget that a little humility
goes a long way.”
Inducted into the prestigious
Les Dames d’Escoffier in 2010, Chef Holland was also
named California Restaurateur of the Year by the California Travel Association
in 2013. The city of Oakland honored her by declaring June 5, 2012 as Tonya
Author of Brown Sugar Kitchen and New
Soul Cooking: Updating a Cuisine Rich in Flavor and Tradition, Holland is
perhaps best known for her role as a host and soul food expert on the Food
Network’s Melting Pot series, where chefs focused on different foods from
around the world. She serves on the board of Women’s Initiative and is a member
of the Chef’s Council for The Center for Culinary Development in San Francisco.
Chef Holland holds a grande diplôme from École de Cuisine La Varenne in Burgundy, France and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian language and literature
from the University of Virginia.
Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image:
Tanya Holland of Oakland’s
Brown Sugar Kitchen speaks to graduates of The Culinary Institute of America at
Greystone in St. Helena, CA on April 13. (Photo
credit: Charlie Gesell/CIA)
View hi-res image >
Assistant Director—Strategic Marketing, Branch Campuses
About The Culinary Institute of America:
Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers bachelor’s degrees in management, culinary arts, culinary science, and applied food studies, and associate degrees in either culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. The college also offers executive education through its Food Business School along with certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of nearly 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.
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