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Chef Tanya Holland

Celebrity Chef

Tanya Holland grew up in upstate New York and credits her love of food to her heritage and upbringing: her father is from rural Virginia and her mother from Louisiana. When Tanya was eight years old, her parents founded a gourmet cooking and eating club that consisted of six couples from different ethnic and professional backgrounds. They gathered to share experiences and meals that ranged from French, Mexican, Jewish, Indian, Pennsylvanian Dutch, Italian and Southern Cuisine. Tanya took notes at an early age.

Tanya began her restaurant career in New York City as a restaurant assistant manager and then on to a catering manager, a tasting assistant for a wine importer, and a server at Mesa Grill, before she committed to a career in the kitchen. Tanya returned to Mesa Grill in 1994 to work as a line cook. While working as a line cook at Verbena, she supplemented her income as a food styling assistant to Roscoe Betsill.

Tanya holds a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language and Literature from the University of Virginia as well as a Grand Diploma from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Burgundy, France. In addition, she has taken numerous classes at New York University and the Institute of Culinary Education.

As a chef, Tanya has traveled in pursuit of more experience and knowledge. In France, she trained with Michel Sarran at Le Mas Du Langoustier on the Island of Porquerolles and Jean-Michel Bouvier at Restaurant L'Essential in Chambery. She spent two summers on Martha's Vineyard at The Oyster Bar and L'Etoile, interrupted with a winter at Hamersley's Bistro in Boston.

Tanya has contributed to Food and Wine and Signature Bride magazines. In 1998 she taught at Cambridge Culinary Institute in Massachusetts.

The combination of heritage, education, personal and professional experience gives Tanya a truly eclectic style, which emphasizes a commitment to simple, flavorful food, using the freshest ingredients. Her multi-ethnic approach to cooking beautifully combines Caribbean, Mediterranean, Asian, American Southwestern and Southern influences while using classic French techniques.