Known to millions as the star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, Masaharu Morimoto is a legendary TV personality and the owner of the wildly popular Morimoto restaurants. His seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients garnered him critical acclaim when he opened his eponymous Morimoto restaurant in Philadelphia in 2001, and has since positioned him as one of the most influential chefs in the world today.

At a fascinating IVY Ideas night in New York, Morimoto reflected on his rise from humble beginnings in Japan to international culinary stardom. With characteristic charm, he described how self-care, continuous accountability, and steady belief in one’s work are his keys to entrepreneurial success. He also emphasized the importance of developing a resonant brand in order to cut through the noise in the competitive culinary world: in his restaurants, a diner’s overall experience — from the presentation of the food to the ambience created by the lighting — is equally, if not more, important than the quality of the food itself.

At the end of the talk, Morimoto treated the audience to a solo performance of a Japanese fisherman song — turns out he loves Karaoke! Watch below for the full details on remarkable journey and insights from his latest book, Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking.

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