Name: Masaharu Morimoto
Background: Masaharu Morimoto, arguably one of the world’s most recognizable sushi chefs, opened his first restaurant at the age of 25 in Hiroshima. Five years later he decided to sell his restaurant and move to the United States in search of further inspiration and influence for his fusion style of cuisine. After deciding to settle in NYC, Morimoto became the executive chef for Sony and soon after was hired as head chef for the acclaimed sushi restaurant, Nobu.
Years later, Masaharu decided to leave his position at Nobu and was presented with the opportunity to compete in the original Japanese Iron Chef show which aired until late 1999. Shortly after, he opened Morimoto in Philadelphia in 2001 which marked the first of many acclaimed restaurants in his legacy. Over the next few years, Morimoto restaurants expanded to NYC and Boca Raton, as well as started branching outside the United States with “Wasabi by Morimoto” openings in Mumbai and New Delhi. Masaharu continued his global reach opening a new sushi restaurant, Morimoto XEX in Tokyo.
In 2010 he opened two additional Morimoto locations in Napa Valley and Waikiki, and in late 2011 opened the latest and arguably most inspiring addition to the Morimoto franchise in Mexico City.
Personal Style: With restaurants all over the world, Morimoto continues to carve and define his own creative approach to ingredients and flavors. He has developed a unique line of specialty beers in collaboration with Rogue Ales as well as made an acting debut in an episode of Hawaii Five-O (playing a role as himself). His passion, he says, is “the seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients.” Through his own innovation and creativity, Morimoto has effectively defined his own cuisine and inspired the hearts (and stomachs) of thousands of fans.
- 2006: Top Newcomer by Zagat
- 2006: Hot List Restaurant by Condé Nast Traveler - Morimoto, New York
- 2006: Best New Restaurants by New York Magazine
- 2007: James Beard Foundation nominated for “Outstanding Restaurant Design” – Morimoto, New York
- 2008: James Beard Foundation nominated for “Outstanding Restaurant Design” – Morimoto, New York
- 2009: Sang at the Thousand Hearts Benefit for Japanese earthquake relief in California
- Morimoto – Philadelphia, New York, Boca Raton, Napa, Waikiki, and Mexico City
- Wasabi by Morimoto – Mumbai and New Delhi
- Live – Los Angeles
- Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking
- Morimoto Knive & Block Set
- Morimoto specialty beers Imperial Pilsner, Soba Ale, and Black Obi Soba Ale