Morimoto restaurant celebrates 15th anniversary

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
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From New York to Japan, Iron Chef Morimoto has made quite a name for himself - and it all started right here in Philadelphia.

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- Iron Chef Morimoto is an international culinary superstar.

From New York to Japan, he's made quite a name for himself and his world famous sushi rolled in open, theater style kitchens.

And it all started right here in Philadelphia.

Hundreds filled the seats of Morimoto to toast a milestone on Sunday for the iconic eatery's 15th anniversary.

And while everyone knows the celebrity chef, his famous sushi and his contagious sense of humor, some may not know that his famous restaurant on the 700 block of Chestnut Street was the very first in Masaharu Morimoto's culinary empire.

"This is my first one, original one - and my soul is here in Philadelphia. (It's my) number one child," he said. "(My) first born, still my soul is here!"

Born in Japan, Morimoto has spent his decades long career sharing special, soulful bites with a smile. He wants you to eat and step out of your culinary comfort zone.

The recipes come straight from his family in Japan.

But his sushi success was sort of plan B.

"When I was a kid I had two major dreams: baseball player or sushi chef," he said.

Sidelined by a shoulder injury from baseball, he turned to sushi and started his restaurant empire from his very first restaurant in Center City, to his brand new one in Las Vegas.

"I just opened Las Vegas 2 weeks ago, that was number 14," said Morimoto.

Las Vegas comes just behind number 13 at Disney Springs in Orlando where's Mickey Mouse himself came to make sushi rolls with him!

And as he celebrates 15 years here in Philadelphia, his 15th restaurant in Doha, the capital of the Persian Gulf country Qatar, opens early next year.