Chef Jamison Blankenship of Morimoto - Biography

New York, NY

October 2011

Jamison Blankenship, a native of New Orleans, LA, didn’t get his start in restaurants until he was 21. But this didn’t present a challenge. The talented young chef spent a mere six years in kitchens before world-renowned Masaharu Morimoto selected him to be chef de cuisine at his eponymous Morimoto restaurant in New York City.

Originally enlisted in the Air Force, Blankenship’s first restaurant experience came when he returned home and worked front of the house at Emeril Lagasse’s original restaurant in New Orleans. When Blankenship made a move to Miami in 1997 his talent for cooking began to emerge and took him to Washington, DC. There, he worked at Michael Richard’s Citronelle before consulting for restaurant project Dish and opening Nectar, which earned numerous awards and accolades under his leadership.

In 2005, Blankenship learned that Chef Masaharu Morimoto had plans to open a restaurant in New York and went after the opportunity despite the fierce competition. Blankenship got his foot in the door by accepting a position as line cook, a move that he now says was the best decision of his career. It didn’t take long for Blankenship to become one of Morimoto’s most trusted chefs. In 2007 Morimoto promoted Blankenship to chef de cuisine, a position second only to him.At Morimoto, Blankenship blends his skill and culinary knowledge with Morimoto’s style to produce the seamless integration of Western andJapanese ingredients. Blankenship’s skill is regularly showcased on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” where is the right hand man on Morimoto’s team throughout the season.