Jun Tanaka teaches tricks of the trade with new cookbook

By Emma Eversham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Marco pierre white, Cook, Le gavroche, Recipe

Jun Tanaka teaches tricks of the trade with new cookbook
Jun Tanaka, Executive Chef at Pearl restaurant in London, has told BigHospitality he is penning his first cookbook to help inexperienced cooks turn simple dishes into restaurant-style food

The book, that will be called Simple to Sensational​, was inspired by the Channel 4 TV series Cooking It​ in which Tanaka taught complete novices how to cook and will show readers how simple recipes can be turned into something special.

He said: “It’s for beginners and more adventurous cooks. It includes recipes that anyone who can’t cook will be able to transform into something more refined and restauranty."

Despite the new book and his TV series, Tanaka says he will not be embarking on a Jamie Oliver-style crusade to make the nation cook and eat better.

“You’ll never teach someone to cook if they don’t want to,” he said.

“It has to come from them and I don’t think you can force anything on anyone. When people want to learn something, it’s a simple process, when they don’t, it becomes a chore.”

When recruiting for his own kitchen, Tanaka, who started his career in the kitchens at Le Gavroche when he was 19, says he looks for consistency and a can-do attitude.

“CVs have to make sense. You can’t have worked in outside catering for a year, then a restaurant, and then a gastropub. To me that’s someone who doesn’t know what they want to do.

He added: “I hate arrogance. Laziness and arrogance. It doesn’t matter who you are, they are things I won’t tolerate in my kitchen. The key to success is picking the right people. I’d rather be short-staffed than choose the wrong person.”

Tanaka has headed up the kitchen at Pearl​ since it opened in 2004 and has worked at Chez Nico, The Capital, The Square and Les Saveurs as well as under Marco Pierre White at The Restaurant Marco Pierre White and The Oak Room.

Simple to Sensational, published by Simon & Schulster, will be available to buy in spring 2009.

Pearl patrons only here for the beer

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