Industry Weekly


Morimoto celebrates his first year in Las Vegas

Chef Masaharu Morimoto had to sit out the upcoming season of Iron Chef to prepare for two new restaurant openings.
Photo: biondo productions for MGM Resorts International / Courtesy

It feels like only yesterday we were awaiting the opening of celebrated chef Masaharu Morimoto’s eponymous Las Vegas restaurant. But time flies when you’re having fun, and Morimoto is all about creating a good time—memorable, special moments and flavors that can’t be replicated anywhere else.

The Iron Chef touched down in Las Vegas to celebrate the restaurant’s one-year anniversary and to talk about the success of yet another critically acclaimed restaurant. “Everybody likes Las Vegas,” Morimoto told Industry Weekly. “This is my dream come true.”

Since opening his spot at the MGM Grand in 2016, Morimoto says the key question has always been, “How can I make my customer happy?” He doesn’t follow trends and describes himself as the conductor of an elaborate orchestra.

At 62, his health is a priority. “I counted last year how many days I stayed at home and used my own pillow—68 days,” he says. “I respect who I hire. Maybe 150 people work here under the Morimoto name in Las Vegas, and [I have] more than 1,000 employees under the Morimoto name [worldwide]. A lot of people are on my shoulders. I have to be healthy.”

The chef is so busy, he had to sit out the upcoming season of Iron Chef to prepare for two new restaurant openings. While he might not appear on your television screen as soon, he still hopes to make an impact with his latest cookbook, Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking. “People think Japanese cuisine and sushi is mysterious, but Japanese cooking should not be mysterious,” he says. “It’s easy! Try it.”

Don’t think you can master oyster foie gras or yellowtail pastrami at home? We won’t blame you for visiting Morimoto instead.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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