Rising Star Chef Mihoko Obunai of Mibo Ramen - Biography
Born in Japan, Mihoko Obunai inherited a passion for cooking from her mother, who regularly cooked 10-course meals for the entire family. Eager, passionate, and full of wanderlust at a young age, Obunai left Tokyo for New York to attend New York University. When not studying, Obunai was working at a small Japanese restaurant called Zutto.
After college, Obunai traveled to Peru to work the Peace Corps. While there, she picked up Spanish and befriended several chefs, all of whom encouraged her to follow her true passion: cooking. Returning to New York, Obunai attended The French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center), and began packing her résumé with restaurants like La Caravelle, L’Absinthe, Bayard’s, and Guastavino’s, where she worked with mentor Daniel Orr.
By 2005, Obunai was once more ready to move. She opened Repast in Atlanta, Georgia, with husband and co-executive chef, Joe Truex. The project blended the couples’ two philosophies into the restaurant’s menu and earned them both a 2007 StarChefs Atlanta Rising Stars Award. Still looking to expand her reach, Obunai taught at Le Cordon Bleu College in Atlanta, and participated in the “Atlanta-to-Antigua Culinary Tour” in 2015, uniting two distant, but vibrant, culinary cultures. Since the closing of Repast, Obunai has pursued a series of wildly successful ramen pop-ups nationwide (called Mibo Ramen), the most recent being the ramen-izakaya “Ramen Freak” at The Sound Table in Atlanta.