Chef Masaharu Morimoto—known to millions as a star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America—has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients. He has effectively created a signature cuisine that has positioned him as one of the foremost chefs today. After an injury ended his promising baseball career, Morimoto began studying sushi and kaiseki in his native Hiroshima, Japan. At age 24, he opened his own restaurant and five-years later, sold it and traveled to America. In 1993, Morimoto was tapped to head the sushi bar and Japanese kitchen at the Sony Club, before being recruited to join the first Nobu restaurant as executive chef in 1994.
In 2001, Morimoto opened his first restaurant in Philadelphia. He debuted Wasabi by Morimoto at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai in 2004. Wasabi revolutionized Japanese cuisine in India by starting a sushi boom across the sub-continent, has appeared several times on the San Pellegrino “Top 100 Restaurants in the World” list, and led to a second location in New Delhi. Morimoto brought his eponymous restaurant to New York City in 2006, earning a James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Restaurant Design” in addition to many more accolades. In 2010, Morimoto Napa was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best U.S. Restaurant Openings”. These have been followed by restaurants in Honolulu, Mexico City, Maui, and Chicago. South Florida is home to Morimoto Sushi Bar at the Boca Raton Hotel & Resort, and his most recent addition, Morimoto South Beach at the newly renovated Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach Hotel.
Since 1998, Morimoto has competed on the Japanese television show, Iron Chef and also appears on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America. His first cookbook, Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking, won two IACP awards–in the “Chef’s and Restaurants” category and the “First Book: The Julia Child Award”–and it was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award.