Masaharu Morimoto (森本正治 Morimoto Masaharu; born May 26, 1955 in Hiroshima, Japan) is a well-known Japanese chef, best-known as the third (and last) Iron Chef Japanese on the TV cooking show Iron Chef, and an Iron Chef on its spinoff, Iron Chef America. Morimoto's costume on Iron Chef is silver with red trim and a picture on the back of Japanese and American flags tied together in a sheaf, while on Iron Chef America he dons the standard blue Iron Chef outfit with white trim. In his professional life, to distinguish himself from his on-screen persona, Morimoto wears (purely aesthetic) glasses.
Morimoto received practical training in sushi and traditional Kaiseki cuisine in Hiroshima, and opened his own restaurant in that city in 1980. Influenced by western cooking styles, he decided to sell his restaurant in 1985 in order to travel around the United States and his travels further influenced his fusion style of cuisine. He established himself in Manhattan, New York City, and worked in some of that city's more prestigious restaurants, including the dining area for Sony Corporation's executive staff and visiting V.I.Ps., the Sony Club, where he was executive chef, and the exclusive Japanese restaurant Nobu, where he was head chef.
It was during his time at Nobu where he got his start on the Iron Chef television show. Several months after the weekly run of Iron Chef ended in 1999, he left Nobu, eventually opening his own Morimoto restaurant in Philadelphia in 2001. He now has a Morimoto restaurant in the Meat Packing District in New York City, as well as a restaurant in Mumbai, India, named Wasabi. He is also a partner with businessmen Paul Ardaji Jr. and Paul Ardaji Sr. in an Asian bistro venture called Pauli Moto's; the initial branch opened in Tyson's Corner, Virginia.
Morimoto currently appears as an Iron Chef in Iron Chef America, a spin-off from the original Japanese "Iron Chef" series.
Chef Morimoto has developed a line of specialty beers with Rogue Ales of Newport, Oregon.