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February 19, 2013
“Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto was honored by the Japanese Government as the recipient of the Minister’s Award for Overseas Promotion of Japanese Food on February 17th. This official distinction from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries was given to Mr. Morimoto for his outstanding contributions towards the popularization of Japanese cuisine. In the special commemorative ceremony to mark this honor, Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki lauded the prominent Japanese culinary figure’s many achievements in sharing Japan’s cuisine with international audiences before bestowing the government distinction upon Mr. Morimoto.  The honoree shared stories of his path to recognition, and expressed his great appreciation to the people who had supported him on that journey.
Chef Masaharu Morimoto - known to millions as the star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America—has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients.  In 2001, Morimoto opened his first restaurant in Philadelphia, which was later followed by restaurants in New York, Napa, Honolulu, Boca Raton, Mumbai, and New Delhi. Most recently, he turned to Mexico to open Morimoto Mexico City.
After opening his first eponymous restaurant in Philadelphia, Morimoto debuted Wasabi by Morimoto at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai. Wasabi revolutionized Japanese cuisine in India by starting a sushi boom across the continent, and has appeared several times on the San Pellegrino “Top 100 Restaurants in the World” list. Morimoto later brought his eponymous restaurant to New York City, earning a James Beard Foundation Award for “Outstanding Restaurant Design” in addition to many more accolades.  In 2010, Morimoto Napa was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s "Best U.S. Restaurant Openings," and later that year, Morimoto Waikiki also opened to critical acclaim.  At Morimoto Mexico City, Morimoto has fused local culture with Japanese tradition to create another celebrated restaurant. 
Since 1998, Morimoto has competed on the Japanese television show, Iron Chef and also appears on the Food Network's Iron Chef America. His first cookbook, Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking, won two IACP awards--in the "Chefs and Restaurants" category and the "First Book: The Julia Child Award"--and it was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award.

In November, Masaharu Morimoto opened his second New York restaurant, Tribeca Canvas.  The restaurant offers a bistro-style menu that showcases the acclaimed chef's interpretation of comfort food.

Please see the details of the Minister's Award for Overseas Promotion of Japanese Food in the link below.
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