Originally from Waimanalao, Hawaii, Chef Tanaka discovered his passion for food and cooking at an early age. His first teacher was his Popo, which means “grandmother” in Chinese, from whom he learned all his secrets. He learned all of his recipes and mastered the most important skill of any successful chef – cook to taste. With an extensive culinary career throughout the Bay Area, Chef Tanaka has combined his roots and techniques with his passion to create unique culinary creations.
After attending Santa Clara University and the California Culinary Academy, he began his career at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay where he worked under celebrity chef Xavier Salomon to perfect his craft. During his nine-year tenure at the Ritz Carlton, he rose through the ranks to become the chef for the hotel’s spectacular dining room, Navio. He then moved from a resort to an urban setting as Executive Chef of the Lowes Regency. This experience was followed by an Executive Chef position at St. Regis San Francisco. Chef Tanaka joins the Four Seasons team from his most recent role as Executive Chef at the Nikko Hotel and ANZU Restaurant, renowned for their contemporary Japanese cuisine.
Supervise the hotel dining room MKT Restaurant and Bar, in-room dining and catering, Tanaka will lead the culinary team to ensure that every point of sale and event is carefully executed and uniquely viewed. Tanaka looks forward to building on the many successes the hotel has already experienced and becoming more integrated into the community.
Chef Tanaka’s commitment to sustainable sourcing and responsible culinary practice runs deep. He enjoys browsing local farmers’ markets in search of fresh, seasonal ingredients to inspire dishes on his next menu. With an endless abundance of fresh, seasonal ingredients, the Bay Area is proving to be the perfect fit for him.
When not in the kitchen, Tanaka enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, as well as riding motorcycles, which he believes is the most suitable way to get around San Francisco.