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Notable Chefs, Japan

Influential Japanese Chefs


Hanaya Yohei, is credited as the inventor of today’s Tokyo-style nigiri sushi.  Back in the 1800s food safety, especially with fish items, was a problem. Hanaya marinated the fish in soy sauce or vinegar and slightly cooked it to prevent spoilage.


Harumi Kurihara has been called the Martha Stewart of Japan.  She is the author of Suteki Recipe, a quarterly recipe magazine.  Her cuisine is home-cooking style, based on the traditional cuisine of Japan with modern influences.  Her first English language cookbook was Harumi’s Japanese Cooking.


Masaharu Morimoto is best known from his appearances on Iron Chef. His food presentation skills are exemplary and though he was trained in traditional sushi preparation and Kaiseki cuisine he has been strongly influenced by Western cooking styles.  His Morimoto restaurant has multiple locations around the world. His books include Japanese Home Cooking and Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking.


Rokusaburo Michiba is famous as the first Japanese Iron Chef on the Iron Chef TV show.  He is one of the innovators of neo-Japanese cuisine, noted for incorporating non-Japanese ingredients into his dishes.  His signature dish is Inochi no Dashi (Broth of Vigour.)

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