Morimoto received practical training in sushi and traditional Kaiseki cuisine in Hiroshima, and opened his own restaurant in that city in 1980. Influenced by western cooking styles, he decided to sell his restaurant in 1985 to travel around the United States. His travels further influenced his fusion style of cuisine. He established himself in Manhattan, New York City, and worked in some of that city's prestigious restaurants, including the dining area for Sony Corporation's executive staff and visiting V.I.P.s, the Sony Club, where he was executive chef, and the exclusive Japanese restaurant Nobu, where he was head chef.
Interior of Morimoto Restaurant in Philadelphia, 2003
When he was at Nobu he got his start on the Iron Chef television show. Several months after the weekly run of Iron Chef ended in 1999, he left Nobu, eventually opening his own Morimoto restaurant in Philadelphia in 2001. He now has a Morimoto restaurant in the Meat Packing District in New York City, as well as a restaurant in Mumbai, India, named Wasabi and another Morimoto in Boca Raton, Florida. He also partnered with businessmen Paul Ardaji Jr. and Paul Ardaji Sr. in an Asian bistro venture called Pauli Moto's; the initial branch opened in Tyson's Corner, Virginia but is now closed. Morimoto also owns Morimoto XEX in Tokyo that has a Teppanyaki and a Sushi floor. Morimoto XEX received a Michelin Star in the recent Tokyo Michelin guide.
Morimoto currently appears as an Iron Chef in Iron Chef America, a spin-off from the original Japanese "Iron Chef" series.
Chef Morimoto has also developed a line of specialty beers with Rogue Ales of Newport, Oregon.