Before earning culinary stardom, Masaharu Morimoto was to be drafted as a baseball catcher in Japan’s major leagues when a shoulder injury ended his career. Soon thereafter, he began studying sushi and kaiseki (Japanese haute cuisine), honing his craft for seven years at an acclaimed restaurant in his native Hiroshima, Japan. At age 24, he opened his own restaurant nearby, and after a successful five-year tenure, the young chef sold the restaurant and traveled to the U.S. to further expand his repertoire. In 1993, Morimoto was tapped to head the sushi bar and Japanese kitchen at the Sony Club before being recruited by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa to open the first Nobu restaurant as executive chef in 1994.
Morimoto opened his eponymous Morimoto restaurant in Philadelphia in 2001. Today, he is executive chef at Morimoto Philadelphia, Morimoto New York, Wasabi by Morimoto (Mumbai and New Delhi), Morimoto Sushi Bar (Boca Raton, Florida), Morimoto Napa, Morimoto Mexico City and Morimoto Waikiki. Morimoto Waikiki, located at THE MODERN HONOLULU, is marked by Iron Chef Morimoto’s seamless integration of Japanese and Western ingredients, highlighting the best seafood from Hawaiian and Japanese waters as well as seasonal raw selections, fruits and vegetables. “The quality of my ingredients is the highest expression of my skill and judgment as a chef,” Morimoto has shared of his vision.
With a James Beard Foundation Award (for “Outstanding Restaurant Design” at Morimoto New York) and accolades from Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Zagat and New York magazine (among many others), Masaharu Morimoto is no stranger to the spotlight. He first competed on the Japanese television version of Iron Chef in 1998, in fact, and continues to appear on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America. In 2007, his first cookbook, Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking, was published, winning two IACP awards and a James Beard Foundation Award nomination.
A chef this rare belongs at a resort this uncommon - just ask the locals. We invite you to experience Chef Morimoto’s vision inside Morimoto Waikiki at THE MODERN HONOLULU.