退社後、90年〜91年にかけてのフィレンツェ語学留学を経て、藤野真紀子氏主催の菓子教室を受講。藤野氏の紹介により洋菓子研究家 加藤千恵氏に師事し、西洋菓子全般を学ぶ。1993年ミラノのIPCA、LA NOSTRA CUCINAなどでイタリア料理、イタリア菓子、製パンを学び、1994年日本橋浜町でイタリア料理と西洋菓子の教室をスタート、その後97年に南青山に移転して現在に至る。


Tamao Tanaka is the owner, chef and instructor at La Cucina Oliva, an Italian cuisine and pastry cooking school located in Minami Aoyama in Tokyo, Japan. Tamao established La Cucina Oliva in 1994 and has introduced authentic Italian cuisine to many people, teaching home cooking to individuals as well as providing catering services to numerous establishments across Tokyo for over 20 years. She has built a successful business exclusively from referrals provided by the many hundreds of customers she has taught.

Tamao spent over several years in Italy from 1990 to 1994 learning from many "mamme Italiane" (Italian moms) as well as great chefs mainly in Milan and Florence on the fine art of Italian cooking.She also gained an in-depth understanding and appreciation for Italian culture, something that she brings with her when teaching her customers.

In addition to teaching authentic Italian cuisine, Tamao is also an authentic Japanese chef and has recently started teaching Japanese cooking to customers in Tokyo. Her repertoire of recipes contains many vegetarian dishes, which enables her to teach and cater to a broad array of cooking needs. Tamao’s future aspiration is to develop and introduce Japanese-influenced Italian dishes to cooks and diners in Tokyo as well as in other parts of the world.