060918MorimotoOkay, here is one celebrity we can get excited about — or more accurately, his king yellowtail stew.

The New York Anime Festival (NYAF) today announced Chef Masaharu Morimoto — star of Iron Chef and Iron Chef America — will attend its 2008 event as a Guest of Honor. The New York Anime Festival, an anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture convention from the creators of New York Comic Con, takes place September 26th through the 28th at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, NY. Chef Morimoto will attend NYAF’s first day, conducting a question-and-answer session with fans from 4 to 5 PM and a book signing from 5 to 6 PM. Festival attendees are then invited to visit Chef Morimoto’s eponymous restaurant — Morimoto — from 7 to 9 PM on the last day of the New York Anime Festival for NYAF’s Official After Party. Morimoto Restaurant is located at 88 10th Avenue in Manhattan. The New York Anime Festival’s After Party will take place in Morimoto’s downstairs bar and is open to all NYAF attendees, exhibitors, professionals, and press.

“All of us here at the New York Anime Festival are honored to have Chef Morimoto join us this year,” NYAF Show Manager Lance Fensterman said. “Masaharu Morimoto has done more to expose America to Japanese cooking than perhaps any other chef in the last decade, and we are eager to give him a platform in America’s biggest city to celebrate his accomplishments and open a few more hearts, minds, and bellies to Japanese cuisine.”

Chef Morimoto joins NYAF’s previously-announced Guests of Honor: illustrator Yoshitaka Amano, author Hideyuki Kikuchi, voice actress Rie Tanaka, and fashion designer Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. Tickets to the New York Anime Festival are available now at newyorkanimefestival.com.


  1. OK. I was excited about NYAF before (admittedly, I kinda have to be, since we [Del Rey Manga] will be exhibiting) but man, this is big news.

    Increasingly, I’ve come to realize that manga & anime fandom in the U.S. isn’t just about comics and cartoons. It’s more generally about Japanese culture. And food is culture as much as art is culture as much as language is culture.

    A coup for team-NYAF, that’s for sure…

  2. It’s more generally about Japanese culture. And food is culture as much as art is culture as much as language is culture.

    I’d say it’s been that way for about 10 years. I remember going to a small, local anime con years ago, and even back then the local sushi bar had the savvy to blanket the con site with menus and coupons.

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