This past March I was in Miami for a few days to attend the South Beach Food & Wine Festival. I met quite a few Food Network “star chefs” while I was down there but none who is more respected in the industry than Masaharu Morimoto. With a few restaurants under his belt, the Iron Chef Japan and Iron Chef America star is one of the most famous sushi chefs in America today.
While in Miami, I purchased his book Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking. I patiently stood in line for a signature which he very graciously handed out with a dedication (in Japanese!) and some funny words to each and every person there. He was a lot less serious and more playful than what he appears to be on TV and was flashing his signature peace sign at every photo opportunity. The book starts with a full page of step-by-step illustrated directions on how to tie a kimono samurai-style, to liberate the sleeves so one can better use one’s hands. He goes on to say that a chef needs to be in the same state of mind as a samurai when working the kitchen.
Morimoto is known for his original presentations and his use of non-traditional ingredients (like foie gras) in his japanese dishes. When accused of not being traditional enough, Morimoto calls his style “global cooking for the 21st century“. Morimoto’s talent is obvious in every single picture and recipe in this book. I can assure you that I am very rarely intimated by recipes but I still haven’t gathered the courage to cook anything from that particular book! It is not that they are complicated but they require ingredients that are not easy to find and most of the time, they include many steps which I unfortunately don’t have time for these days… Ok, so I admit that I may be a bit more intimated by that one particular chapter that is entitled “Recipes to contemplate“! How can anyone not be when every single picture looks like it should be hanging on a wall in a museum?
However dear readers, just for you I will gather my courage and tackle one of those recipes. This time next week, I will share with you pictures and reviews of one of those recipes… so stay tuned!