Morimoto Hosts a Fundraiser For Japanese Disaster Relief Efforts
There’s no doubt that March’s earthquake, tsunami and partial nuclear reactor meltdowns in Japan were upsetting for the whole world in one way or another, but for Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto the triple disaster was exceptionally distressing. To help ease the suffering in his home country, Morimoto will host the fundraiser Morimoto For Japan on June 7 at his namesake restaurant in Philadelphia. Unlike the rest of us who watched the series of devastating events unfold on TV, Morimoto was on the ground in Japan the very next day after the quake and tsunami hit. Though the majority of his family and friends were out of harms way in his hometown of Hiroshima, Morimoto said that they were still traumatized by the magnitude of the destruction hundreds of miles away. “The day after the earthquake I went to Japan on a business trip and experienced the pain first hand,” Morimoto told Grub Street. “Although those painful scenes will disappear from TV as other headlines take over, the suffering will remain for months to come.”
With the fundraiser, Morimoto hopes to raise at least $30,000. At a similar benefit at his Waikiki restaurant back in late March, he raised more than $100,000.
“Thousands of people lost their homes; they are waiting for temporary housing to be built,” Morimoto said. “Hopefully the money we will raise at the event will help those people who suffer.”
The price to attend June’s private event starts at $300. That includes a cocktail reception, hors d’oeuvres and an up-close view of the Iron Chef breaking down a 200-pound tuna. Dinner includes a five-course Omakase tasting menu created by Morimoto, with beverage pairings. Menu highlights include toro tartare with guacamole panna cotta and hamachi pastrami, and a Morimoto surf and turf with lobster and wagyu. Following dinner, Freeman’s Auction House will facilitate a live auction featuring for big ticket items like dinner for 10 prepared by Morimoto in a private home. All proceeds will go to the Philadelphia-Japan Disaster Relief Fund. Contact the restaurant for details and reservations.