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