Miss Universe 2012 - Judge - Masaharu Morimoto
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Masaharu Morimoto


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. He has effectively created a signature cuisine that has positioned him as one of the foremost chefs today. After an injury that ended his promising baseball career, Morimoto began studying sushi and kaiseki in his native Hiroshima, Japan. At age 24, he opened his own restaurant and five-years later sold it and traveled to America. In 1993, Morimoto was tapped to head the sushi bar and Japanese kitchen at the Sony Club and later was recruited to join the first Nobu restaurant as executive chef in 1994.
In 2001, Morimoto opened his first restaurant in Philadelphia which was later followed by restaurants in New York, Napa, Honolulu, Boca Raton, Mumbai, New Delhi and Mexico City. Most recently, he opened his second New York restaurant, Tribeca Canvas which features a bistro-style menu that showcases the acclaimed chef’s interpretation of comfort food.
After opening his first eponymous restaurant in Philadelphia, Wasabi by Morimoto launched at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai. Wasabi revolutionized Japanese cuisine in India by starting a sushi boom across the sub-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.
His first cookbook, Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking, won two IACP awards in the “Chef’s and Restaurants” category and the “First Book: The Julia Child Award" being nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award.