You would think that a celebrity chef like Masaharu Morimoto would dedicate himself to three luxurious square meals a day. After all, his universe is all about creating delicious food for the enjoyment of his many restaurant patrons. If he pays that much attention to the food he prepares for others, surely he pays the same attention to his own eating habits, right?
While he may be intentional about how the food makes him feel and the ingredients he eats, the Iron Chef America alum is not determined to follow a traditional meal schedule. In fact, when he travels, he may not eat at all. Learn more about the chef’s typical dishes and the foods he can’t live without.
Masaharu Morimoto is a renowned sushi master
Morimoto grew up in Hiroshima, Japan. He moved to the United States in his thirties after running a sushi restaurant in his hometown. He became the executive chef of the famous Nobu in New York, and later became one of the Food Network’s most formidable contenders. Iron Chef America, which is based on a similar cooking contest that originated in Japan. Morimoto’s losses at Kitchen Stadium have been extremely rare in his 10 years on the American version of the show.
Morimoto opened his first restaurant in the United States in 2001 in Philadelphia, then opened several others around the world. Today his website states that it operates 19 restaurants. They are located in Orlando, New York, Napa Valley and elsewhere in the world in Mumbai, Tokyo and Mexico City, to name a few. He is widely credited with popularizing sushi in the United States, according to a CBS interview. And it’s synonymous with high-quality cuisine that celebrates Japanese and American cuisine.
The ‘Iron Chef’ icon often only eats one meal a day
Although the 67-year-old chef places food at the center of his career, it does not dominate his free time. When Orlando Weekly When asked how the chef stays in shape, he said he often only eats one meal a day. This is especially true when working and traveling. Typically, he eats a large meal between 3 and 5 p.m., depending on his schedule. But what it lacks in frequency with its unique take on intermittent fasting, it makes up for in volume.
“I eat a lot!” Morimoto told the publication. “I eat ramen, sautéed vegetables, a little meat or fish and rice. At home, my wife cooks for me, but when I work, only one meal a day.
And while he may offend some airlines for this, Morimoto rejects all food while he flies. “I don’t eat anything on airplanes. Even going to Japan on a 14 hour flight. Zero. Nothing,” he said. “Because eating and drinking on the plane is not so good. Wherever I fly – New York to Orlando or Napa – I have restaurants there so when I land I can get the best food. After I eat [on a plane], the food stays in my belly and I can’t do anything. It’s not good.”
This attitude earned him the reputation of being “nasty” on airplanes for refusing all food. But the chef said it wasn’t the quality of the food itself, it’s just how it made him feel.
Morimoto loads up on healthy foods when he eats
In addition to the food he receives at his restaurants, Morimoto says he is spoiled by his wife Keiko’s cooking. In fact, he told Orlando Weekly that she’s the most underrated chef he knows. The family often eats a vegetarian diet at home, and Keiko’s root vegetable dishes are second to none, according to her husband.
When the stress of running many restaurants and product lines becomes too much, Morimoto said high life that he looks for comfort food in whatever his wife cooks. “I crave my wife’s cooking – she always makes sure I eat healthy. She cooks fish, tofu, curry, rice and more,” he said.
As for the world-renowned chef himself, Morimoto said his favorite ingredient for cooking was perhaps the simplest: rice. “People may not think of rice as an ingredient, but if cooked at the right temperature for the perfect amount of time, rice can be the star of many dishes,” he said. “In all of my restaurants, we polish the rice on site to retain moisture and serve it at its best possible quality.”
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