Chef Masaharu Morimoto—known to millions as the star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America—has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients. In 2001, Morimoto opened his first restaurant in Philadelphia, which has been named as best Japanese restaurant in Philadelphia by numerous publications. In 2004, Morimoto debuted Wasabi by Morimoto at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai. Wasabi revolutionized Japanese cuisine in India by starting a sushi boom across the continent, and has appeared several times on the San Pellegrino “Top 100 Restaurants in the World” list. Morimoto later brought his eponymous restaurant to New York City, 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,” and later that year, Morimoto Waikiki also opened to critical acclaim. At Morimoto Mexico City, which opened in 2011, Morimoto has fused local culture with Japanese tradition to create another celebrated restaurant. In October 2013, Morimoto opened his second Hawaii restaurant, Morimoto Maui in Wailea. Most recently, he joined Japonais in Chicago to open Japonais by Morimoto.
Morimoto has competed on the Japanese television cooking show, Iron Chef, and since 2004 he has appeared 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.