Monday, December 31, 2007

Brown Sugar Kitchen and I

In my last postito (mini post- the one that amounted to perhaps six sentences), I mentioned that I have something that I'd like to share with you. That's still true.

What I'd like to share is that I am beginning my first real wine consulting assignment with a friend of mine. Real as in, although I have "consulted" people on wine before, my name has not appeared in print. Anywhere good, that is.

The restaurant's wine list that I will be designing is Brown Sugar Kitchen's.

The owner and chef, Tanya Holland, and I met while working at a catering company around two years ago. We got along, enjoyed working together, and told each other that we would stay in touch when I left to devote my work hours primarily to wine. We didn't, but we luckily met once again at our local YMCA, accidentally (by the way, I love the Y).

And then we caught up. She visited the wine shop where I worked, I excitingly learned that she was launching her first restaurant, and don't tell her husband, but I caught her eye. Her wine eye. And I let her know that if she wanted my wine food pairing "skills," that they were all hers. She said yes. I'm a lucky girl.

Thus I am truly very happy to be able to say that I am Brown Sugar Kitchen's wine consultant. The food served will be lighter soul food and BBQ. And when I say BBQ, I mean the classic BBQ that requires hours of luscious cooking, and lighter soul food as in nothing, to my knowledge, will be laden with lard. To pair wine with this delicious food, I will stock the list (which I will change almost completely every two months) with both full-bodied and lean whites, that are not too oaky to detract from the food's bright flavors. The reds will be big on smoke, spice or fruit (lots of Rhone blends), to bring out the BBQ flavors and lusher textures.

Then, I will change the list almost entirely every two months. Swoon.

Lastly, I will be hosting monthly supper clubs with Tanya that will be wine focused on the fourth Wednesday of every month. They will be very reasonably priced, prix-fixe, and three to four courses of delicious, inspired, "updated" soul food. And I would love to see any of you there.

I'll keep you updated on the advances of this project and will include pictures of her restaurant, and maybe even of me in her restaurant. That's right.

Here is an announcement of her opening in the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Cookbook author and chef Tanya Holland is planning to open Brown Sugar Kitchen next month in West Oakland (2534 Mandela Parkway).
The restaurant will showcase Holland 's Southern-style cooking with Caribbean flair. She plans to also sprinkle in some African and Creole flavors for what she calls "new soul cooking." She plans to open the 50-seat restaurant for breakfast and lunch initially, and wants to take advantage of the barbecue smoker that came with the place, formerly the Island Cafe.
Expect moderately priced ribs and chicken on the menu, along with sweet potato gratin, baked grits, macaroni and cheese, and coleslaw. For breakfast: cornmeal waffles, three-potato hash and pecan-crusted French toast.
Holland, author of "New Soul Cooking," says she wants to grow with the neighborhood and will eventually open for dinner."

Also, here are some further links about the restaurant and Ms. Tanya Holland. Apologies if you have to cut and paste

So that's my news, dear readers, and in closing, I'd like to thank you for reading and sharing my blog this year. It's a great venue for me and I value sharing wine and food thoughts with all of you in my posts and through your comments.


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Jerry said...

Super cool news! Siege and I will definitely make the trip from Sac to sample some tasty brown sugar delights and the delicious wines you will no doubt pair with them. Keep up the smashing work!

redman said...

this is huge. Congratulations! Helen and I may have to make a trip down from Seattle to check this place out. We love pork and wine and old friends!

Kirstin said...

Thanks guys! I'm really looking forward to this, and our uber-comfy futon is always ready to fold out. I'll have Keith do it.

Douglas said...

Michelle and I was blessed to be a pat of your soft opening in December and ate nearly everything on the menu! You are awesome and we will be making this our new home away from home!!

Congrats!! You deserve it!