Disney World may have lost one Iron Chef when Cat Cora’s Kouzzina closed on the Boardwalk, but now they gain new one as former Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto brings a new dining destination of his own to Disney Springs in summer 2015. Imagined as an urban remodel of The Springs Bottling Company building Morimoto Asia will feature a cross section of Asian cuisines in a prime location overlooking Village lake in the new Landing area. Menus have not been announced, but with the variety of different seating areas it is likely there will be range from dim sum appetizers in the lounges to multi-course meals in the open kitchens. Details should be available for menus and reservations a few months prior to opening. I’ve long been a fan or Chef Morimoto since watching him compete on the original Iron Chef back in the early days of Food Network and am looking forward to sampling the variety his new restaurant will offer. When you’re done reading, check out Morimoto’s other new neighbor: The BOATHOUSE.
Per Disney PR: Chef Masaharu Morimoto is teaming up with Patina Restaurant Group to open Morimoto Asia as Walt Disney World Resort brings to life Disney Springs, an entertainment-dining-retail district re-imagined from Downtown Disney. To open in summer 2015 at The Landing, in the heart of Disney Springs, Morimoto Asia is the Japanese master chef’s first pan-Asian dining experience.
Morimoto Asia’s extraordinary, 36-foot tall, two-story layout includes a vast range of areas to explore including open terraces, grand hall, private rooms, long bar, cocktail lounge, waterside seating and more. The restaurant is being designed by STUDIO V Architecture.
“We are delighted to work with Morimoto to create this one of a kind restaurant, which will be a spectacular dining destination at the new Disney Springs,” said Nick Valenti, restaurateur and CEO of Patina Restaurant Group.
“I’m very excited to bring this new concept to Disney, something I’ve always dreamed of,” said Chef Morimoto. “It’s a wonderful chance to share some of my favorite foods from across the Asian continent.”
Morimoto Asia’s culinary elements will provide flavors from across Asia, while exhibition kitchens will showcase the continent’s traditions. Included among them are street-food stalls, Peking duck carving and dim sum. Morimoto’s inspiration and perspective will create an unmatched dining experience in this richly layered setting.
“We’re thrilled to bring Chef Morimoto’s renowned culinary style to Disney Springs as we expand the range of dining experiences for our resort guests as well as local Florida residents,” said George A. Kalogridis, president, Walt Disney World Resort.”
About Masaharu Morimoto
Perhaps most recognizable as the star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, Chef Masaharu Morimoto has created a bridge between the culinary traditions of his native Japan and the American palate, bringing intense excitement, exquisite technique, and perfectly balanced flavors to thousands of diners throughout the world. He has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients and has effectively created a signature style that positions him as one of today’s foremost chefs. In 2001, Morimoto opened his first eponymous restaurant in Philadelphia, which was followed by Wasabi by Morimoto in Mumbai in 2004 and another in New Delhi in 2008. Today, Chef Morimoto has expanded his culinary empire across the globe, with restaurants in Mexico City, New York City, Boca Raton, Maui, Chicago, South Beach, Waikiki and Napa. Morimoto’s restaurants have received numerous accolades throughout the years, including Morimoto Napa which was named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s “Best U.S. Restaurant Openings” in 2010, and Morimoto New York which won the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Restaurant Design” in 2008, as well as a “2006 Hot List Restaurant” by Conde Nast Traveler, one of New York’s “Top 50 Restaurants” by Travel + Leisure, and one of New York Magazine’s “Best New Restaurants.”