Acclaimed chef Tanya Holland to open café inside Oakland Museum of California

Award winning chef Tanya Holland is creating a new cafe inside the Oakland Museum of California. And she says it won't be the typical inside a museum lunch spot.

The restaurant called Town Fare will be "Vegetable forward," but not vegetarian.

"There will be meat items but it will give me a chance to experiment," Holland says.

She plans to open it up with more windows. It will be open to the general public, not just museum goers.

Holland, the author of cook books, studied in France and co-hosted her own cooking show on the Food Network.

But in the Bay Area she is perhaps best known for the Brown Sugar Kitchen, now on Oakland's Broadway.

Before moving Uptown, Holland first began serving her famous chicken & waffles and soul food with her own flair in West Oakland on Mandela Parkway.

She ended up winning a Michelin award for quality and value.

"I bought one waffle maker. Put it on the menu. And it became the biggest dish," she says.  

But its a road that's been anything but easy.

Before moving to California, Holland, who is African-American, had trouble getting a job as a line cook in New York.

"I'd show up and they'd look at me like I had two heads. They clearly didn't want a woman. They didn't want a black woman in their kitchen," Holland says.

Given the difficulties she went through getting started, Holland now makes a point of helping young women of color who have aspirations of making it in the food world.

"I really want to show it can be done. If I don't get there, how are young brown women or black women going to feel that they can do it after me?" Holland said.

Town Fare is expected to open in August.