Morimoto Asia & Momosan Waikiki - Honolulu, HI
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto has created a bridge between the culinary traditions of his native Japan and the American palate, bringing intense excitement, exquisite technique, and perfectly balanced flavors to countless diners throughout the world. He has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients and has effectively created a signature style that positions him as one of today’s foremost chefs.
After a shoulder injury ended a promising career as a baseball catcher in Japan, Morimoto began studying sushi in his hometown of Hiroshima. He quickly grasped the technique of this exacting food art, and at age 24, opened his first restaurant. Five years later, he moved to America to expand his culinary repertoire and explore the opportunities and possibilities he saw for a cuisine that would combine the best of both cultures.
In 1994, Morimoto was recruited to join the original Nobu restaurant and soon promoted to Executive Chef. In 2001, Morimoto opened his first restaurant in Philadelphia, followed by restaurants in New York, Napa, Honolulu, Boca Raton, Mumbai, Mexico City, Tokyo, and Maui. Morimoto Asia Orlando at Disney Springs opened in 2015, followed by Momosan Ramen and Sake NYC and Morimoto Las Vegas at MGM Grand in 2016. Morimoto Asia Waikiki, Momosan Waikiki, and Morimoto Doha opened in 2018, Momosan Seattle opened in 2019, and Momosan Wynwood opened in 2020. In September 2021, he opened Sa’Moto at Doheny Room, a new pan-Asian fine-dining restaurant concept, within West Hollywood’s famed Doheny Room, in partnership with Sam Nazarian, SBE, and Disruptive Restaurant Group. Additionally, in 2021 Morimoto Taghazout Bay, Sa’Moto at Manhattan West, and Momosan at Hub Hall in Boston opened, bringing Morimoto’s global restaurant count to 19.
Masaharu Morimoto has received numerous accolades for his cuisine and aesthetic, including several appearances on San Pellegrino’s “Top 100 Restaurants in the World” list, a James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Restaurant Design” for Morimoto New York, and in 2010, Morimoto Napa was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best U.S. Restaurant Openings.” In 2016, Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs was presented with the “Design Built Award of Merit” by the American Institute of Architects Orlando; and was the Silver Award recipient of the New York Design Awards.
His first cookbook, Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking, won two International Association of Culinary Professionals awards, including the Julia Child Award for Best First Book. His second cookbook, Mastering The Art of Japanese Home Cooking, was released in November 2016.