Masaharu Morimoto is one of the biggest names in the food business. While you would be right to simply refer to him as such, that would not begin to scratch the surface of the success and influence he has attained in the culinary industry at large. To the general public, he is widely recognized for his appearances on the acclaimed TV shows Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, where he displays his world-renowned cooking abilities in front of a live audience on a ticking clock. The chef is beloved for his unique fusion cuisine which combines both Japanese and Western styles of cooking to create a new unforgettable and magical cuisine that is purely his own.
For Morimoto, cooking is entertainment and everything has to be perfect – from aromas to spice blends, ingredients, meal preparation, color combination, and presentation. The Japanese chef and his establishments have earned deserved praise from New York Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Zagat, Travel + Leisure, Michelin Guide, and many others. He earned a James Beard Award nomination for Specials, as well as Outstanding Restaurant Design in 2007 and 2008.
The chef’s debut cookbook titled Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking was published in 2007 and it went on to win a number of awards, including honors from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. The success of this book helped cement his position as a pioneer in modern Japanese cuisine. Despite the numerous accomplishments he has under his belt, Morito has no intention of giving up his apron or knives anytime soon, and he is still actively exploring the world of cooking and expanding his empire.
How Did Masaharu Morimoto Become Famous?
Born in Hiroshima, Japan, on May 26, 1955, Morimoto did not have the easiest life. His father was a violent and irate man who often took his frustrations out on his family. By the time he was 10, his family had lived in over a dozen houses because his parents’ squabbles often angered the landlords and led to them getting evicted.
Long before he dreamt of becoming an acclaimed sushi chef, Morimoto wanted to become a professional baseball player and he had the talent to back it up. However, before he went pro, he suffered an injury to the shoulder that brought his career to a fateful end, so, he turned his attention to the world of cooking.
Morimoto went on to train in sushi and traditional Kakashi cuisine. Eight years later, in 1980, he opened his own restaurant in Hiroshima, Japan.
In 1985, Morimoto decided to sell his restaurant and move to the United States where he could learn more about Western cooking styles. He set up base in New York City and slowly built a name for himself, working in prestigious restaurants around Manhattan, including the Sony Club, where he served as executive chef, and the exclusive, award-winning Japanese restaurant Nobu, where he was head chef. Around this time, he began making appearances on Iron Chef, dividing his time between Japan and the States.
Morimoto left Nobu to collaborate with Starr Restaurants in 1999, then opened his own self-named restaurant in 2001, in Philadelphia. He then set up the second Morimoto restaurant in Chelsea, New York City. Since then he has opened over a dozen more restaurants around the world.
What Is His Net Worth?
The Japanese-born chef is regarded as one of the most successful chefs in America today. He has opened mega-restaurants and flagship dining establishments all over the world. At present, Morimoto has 16 restaurants in his portfolio situated in locales like Honolulu, Napa Valley in California, Boca Raton in Florida, Hawaii, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Tokyo. His most recent openings include Morimoto Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs, and Momosan Ramen & Sake in Lexington Ave., New York City.
In addition, Morimoto also has his hands in the beverage industry. He has his own range of casual and high-end sake, beers, and cabernet sauvignon. His various businesses have helped Morimoto achieve an impressive net worth. The Iron Chef is estimated to be worth $18 million as of 2019.
Does Masaharu Morimoto Have a Wife?
Masaharu Morimoto is a happily married man. He tied the knot with Keiko Morimoto in 1978 and they have been together ever since. According to the acclaimed chef, his wife is also an excellent cook. However, it is not clear whether she is also in the professional culinary business, or what she does for a living otherwise. From all indications, Morimoto is as excellent at being a husband as he is at cooking for people.