In front of a packed house last night, old original Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto demonstrated his cunning knife skills while butchering a 200 lb. tuna in the dining room of his eponymous restaurant. Fans, who paid $300 a pop to attend the chef’s Morimoto For Japan fundraiser — Supper’s Mitch and Jen Prensky and Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.’s Mike Welsh were among them — looked on in awe as Morimoto joked and sang while breaking down the mighty fish. He had it stripped to the bone in about 10 minutes. Later guests dined on the fruits of his labors in the form of toro tartare, sashimi and spicy tuna roll.
Antiques Road Show’s appraiser Alasdair Nichol served as auctioneer for a bevy of desirable items donated to help disaster recovery efforts in Japan. They included a private dinner at home prepared by Morimoto, and dinner at all of Stephen Starr’s restaurants.
Starr himself, who served as the evening’s emcee, joked that no one was interested in the bachelorette party package he offered that would include him jumping out of cake.
Similar charity events Morimoto hosted at his restaurants in Waikiki and New York each brought in more than $100,000 a piece. The chef said he hoped last night’s fundraiser would bring in at least as much. All proceeds from the event are being donated to the Japan American Society of Greater Philadelphia’s Philadelphia-Japan Disaster Relief Fund.