Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 26

I've wrote about the Iron Chef program before; today is the birthday of my favorite Iron Chef, Masaharu Morimoto. More than anyone, he embodies the spirit of ingenuity and adventure that Iron Chef purports to be. He first became adept at Keiseki cuisine and sushi preparation, with his own restaurant by age 30. He sold his restaurant to travel to the US, cooking in exclusive restaurants like New York's Nobu, while developing his fusion style.
And it was that style that was a game changer for Iron Chef. The show was sold to audiences as an Olympic-style cooking competition, where French cuisine would take on Chinese style, or Italian would clash with Japanese; the styles were in competition, with the chefs as conduits. But Morimoto's style was so exciting and unpredictable that his competitions inevitably became chef versus chef, particularly when conservative Japanese chefs would challenge Morimoto for the honor of Japanese cuisine.
He's a cast member with the Iron Chef America series, as well as owner of several Morimoto restaurants around the world. Dinner at Morimoto is something on my personal bucket list, somewhere between driving a motorcycle and riding into space.
Here's a demo that the once and future Iron Chef Japanese did at Google:

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