Chef Masaharu Morimoto, known to millions of television viewers as a star of “Iron Chef” and “Iron Chef America,” is as comfortable cooking against the clock for a live audience as he is preparing his signature omakase menu at his namesake restaurants. But no matter the circumstances, Morimoto’s inspired, innovative dishes have garnered critical and popular acclaim. Through the seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients, Morimoto has effectively created his own, idiosyncratic, unforgettable cuisine—an unexpected result for a kid who wanted to be a baseball player.
After moving to America, Morimoto opened his first Morimoto outpost in Philadelphia. In 2004, Wasabi by Morimoto opened to great acclaim at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai, India, followed in 2005 by Morimoto-XEX in Tokyo. In January 2006, Morimoto brought his eponymous restaurant to New York City. The stunning space, designed by Tadao Ando and located in the city’s west side Warehouse District, was nominated by the James Beard Foundation for “Outstanding Restaurant Design” in 2007 and 2008.
Morimoto New York has won numerous awards, including being named by Condé Nast Traveler as a 2006 “Hot List Restaurant,” one of New York’s “Top 50 restaurants” by Travel + Leisure, “Top Newcomer” by Zagat, and one of New York Magazine’s “Best New Restaurants.” His first cookbook, Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking, published by DK in 2007, won two awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Most recently, the chef continued the graceful expansion of his empire with Morimoto Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii.