Listen closely to the stories of America’s great chefs – so many of whom trace their joy of food to fond memories of time spent in the kitchen with a special family member. From sauces to secrets, our chefs learned to love and respect the art of cooking as youngsters, under the guidance of a relative or loved one who often had no formal training, but instinctively knew how to prepare and share simple dishes that burst with flavor.
Meet three of our guest chefs and join in the conversation about family influencers who helped get them where they are today. Share in the scrapbook of memories and inspirations that formed the foundation of their culinary skills.
Chef and restaurateur, Crump is known for crafting the seasons’ best locally sourced ingredients into comfortable, refined dishes. Together with her business partner, Crump owns and operates two restaurants in Fredericksburg, Virginia — FOODE and Mercantile.
The woman behind the institution,Tanya Holland is the Executive Chef and Owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, CA. Holland is known for her inventive takes on modern soul food, as well as comfort classics. The author of Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland.
Author of Saving the Season: A Cook’s Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving. West’s family is from east Tennessee and has been farming in Blount County at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains for 150 years.
Founder/Executive Chef FOODE, Mercantile
A Pennsylvania native, Joy Crump is known for crafting the seasons’ best locally sourced ingredients into comfortable, refined dishes. A culinary graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta, Joy honed her skills alongside farm-to-table pioneers, chefs Michael Tuohy and Kevin Gillespie. In 2011, Joy opened her first restaurant, FOODE, in historic downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia, with business partner Beth Black. In 2014, the duo opened their second Fredericksburg restaurant, Mercantile. Crump has had the honor of cooking at the James Beard House in both 2016 and 2017, and is actively involved in the James Beard Foundation’s Impact Programs for Food Policy, Chef Advocacy and Change.
Chef, Restaurateur, Author
A pioneer of the new soul/southern cuisine movement, Tanya Holland is chef/owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, California. She is the author of New Soul Cooking: Updating a Cuisine Rich in Flavor and Tradition (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2003) and The Brown Sugar Kitchen Cookbook (Chronicle Books, 2014). Holland holds a Bachelor of Arts in Russian language and literature from the University of Virginia and a Grand Diplôme from La Varenne École de Cuisine in Burgundy, France.
In her early career, Holland received rave reviews as the executive chef of the Delux Café in Boston and The Victory Kitchen in Brooklyn, New York. She was on the opening staff of Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. It was here that her desire to elevate soul food – the same way that Flay was redefining Southwestern cuisine – was born.
In 2001 Holland headed for warmer California climates, where she garnered stellar reviews in her starring role as creative director at Le Théâtre in Berkeley, California. This led to the opening of the now-famed soul food eatery Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, California (2008).
Holland is an established food writer. She has contributed to The Huffington Post, Food & Wine, Signature Bride and Wine Enthusiast magazines and has been featured in articles in the Wall Street Journal, Savoy, Travel & Leisure, Sunset, and O magazine. She currently sits on the chef’s council for the Center for Culinary Development in San Francisco. In 2010, Holland was inducted as a member of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the prestigious Les Dames d’Escoffier.
Kevin West is the author of Saving the Season: A Cook’s Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving and, most recently, a contributor to America: The Cookbook and Edna Lewis: At the Table with an American Original. His family on both sides is from East Tennessee, and has been farming in Blount County at the foot of the Great Smokey Mountains for 150 years. West currently lives in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts – his preserving work is inspired by Southern Appalachian food culture, historic American cookery books, and today’s progressive agricultural ideals.