"What I always say is that I don't want to be a celebrity or a celebrity chef," Japanese chef and restaurateur Masaharu Morimoto says. "I want to be known as a legitimate chef." Morimoto is probably best known for his cool-headed tenure on Iron Chef, during the show's golden age in the 90s. A video from Munchies provides a rare look into Morimoto's past and present, exploring his childhood ambitions and delving into his current kitchens operations.
Born in Hiroshima, Japan, Morimoto says he grew up in an household troubled by alcoholism and domestic violence. But he fondly remembers dining out with his family. "A few times a year, the day after pay day, we would go out to eat sushi, and those are great memories," he says. "I felt like my family was a unit there." As a teenager, he dreamed of becoming either a professional baseball player or sushi chef. A shoulder injury forced him to give up the first dream, and now his career speaks for the latter. Morimoto owns 12 restaurants across the world and anticipates opening a New York ramen restaurant in the very near future.
Watch Morimoto here, now, slurping down Sun noodles, walking the streets of New York (he considers it his second hometown), and inspecting gorgeous seafood shipped straight from Japan.