genConnect interviews world-renowned Japanese chef Morimoto at the T+L Global Bazaar
About Masaharu Morimoto
Morimoto received practical training in sushi and traditional Kaiseki cuisine in Hiroshima, and opened his own restaurant in that city in 1980. Influenced by western cooking styles, he decided to sell his restaurant in 1985 to travel around the United States. His travels further influenced his fusion style of cuisine. He established himself in New York City, and worked in some of Manhattan's prestigious restaurants, including the dining area for Sony Corporation's executive staff and visiting VIPs, the Sony Club, where he was executive chef, and the exclusive Japanese restaurant Nobu, where he was head chef.
While at Nobu he got his start on the Iron Chef television show. Several months after the weekly run of Iron Chef ended in 1999, he left Nobu, eventually opening his own Morimoto restaurant in Philadelphia in 2001. He now has a Morimoto restaurant in the Chelsea in New York City, as well as restaurants in Mumbai & New Delhi, named Wasabi and another Morimoto in Boca Raton, Florida. He also partnered with businessmen Paul Ardaji Jr. and Paul Ardaji Sr. in an Asian bistro venture called Pauli Moto's; the initial branch opened in Tyson's Corner, Virginia but has since closed.
Morimoto also owns Morimoto XEX in Tokyo that has a Teppanyaki and a sushi floor. Morimoto XEX received a Michelin star in the recent Tokyo Michelin Guide. Morimoto currently appears as an Iron Chef in Iron Chef America, a spin-off from the original Japanese Iron Chef series.
He has also developed a line of specialty beers in collaboration with Rogue Ales of Newport, Oregon, consisting of the Imperial Pilsner, Soba Ale, and Black Obi Soba Ale.
In 2010, Masaharu Morimoto opened two additional Morimoto restaurants. In July 2010, he opened a Napa Valley location. In October 2010, a Waikiki, Hawaii location.