Earlier this year, in an effort to support the Maui Hawaii Fire relief efforts, we put together a virtual silent auction to benefit the Maui Strong Fund created by the Hawaii Community Foundation. One of the first restaurants to sign up to support was Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs, donating tickets to their omakase dinner. The silent auction altogether raised over $6K to support Maui relief.
Chef Yuhi Fujinaga is Director of Culinary, Patina Restaurant Group and formerly executive chef at Morimoto Asia. He grew up in Hawaii and still have ties to the island today. We recently spoke with Chef Yuhi about his background and also talked to him about the omakase experience at Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs. Plus news about Ramen Rumble 6!
Upcoming Visit by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs
Tasty Chomps Interview with Chef Yuhi Fujinaga, Patina Restaurant Group
Ricky Ly: What inspired you to become a chef, and how did you end up working at Morimoto Asia?
Chef Yuhi Fujinaga: Majority of my family are all in the Hospitality industry and I am the only one who chose the Chef role.
I always had the passion to create and love for food. During my younger days, going out to eat was a special moment that the family really enjoyed and for me that lead me to wanting to do the same back for people.
I ended up working here at Morimoto Asia through Chef Morimoto and our company Patina Restaurant Group. Patina had offered me a challenge and a much bigger restaurant to operate and Chef Morimoto I couldn’t say no the second time. First time I said no was his offer to me in Napa Morimoto when it first opened.
Can you describe your personal style and approach to creating omakase dishes?
The way I approach and serve omakase is still in the styles of Japanese Kaiseki style. You will have a multiple different variations of cooking preparations in a progression.
Although my cooking techniques has a great deal of approaches from Japanese, French, and Spanish. Based on the seasons availability and the best way to enjoy a certain ingredients is what I enjoy cooking.
How has it been with your transition to executive chef at Patina group ? what is your work like now?
Being the Executive Chef of Morimoto Asia to being now the Director of Culinary for Patina Restaurant Group in Orlando was definitely a huge game changer.
The best part of my job is to work closely with all of our talented Executive Chefs in our locations and collaborate menu ideas. Being able to cook in different locations and understanding a different styles of operations are a huge challenge and it’s what keeps my passion going.
I still enjoy doing Omakases when I can and it’s so great to see the guests enjoying and appreciating the details that go into preparing the dishes.
How often do the omakase dinners occur and what can people do to reserve?
We have been offering Omakases nightly at Morimoto Asia.
We only take 1 group per evening so that it makes that omakase much more special by getting the Chefs attention.
We have done joint omakases when the group is 2 people each and we have also done larger groups of 12 people (entire sushi bar) omakases as well.
To reserve your next omakase, please visit our website at https://www.morimotoasia.com/omakase/ and submit your request form.
What are you most excited about coming up?
We have Chef Morimoto coming on December 1-3 with lots of exciting events. MOMOKASE (Chef Morimoto’s omakases on Friday and Saturday), 12 Beers of Christmas (tickets on Tock) and also our collaboration with House of Suntory 100yr anniversary for 2 nights.
And who can forget and we all look forward to….. RAMEN RUMBLE 6!!! Coming January 22 2024! at Morimoto Asia (SAVE THE DATE).
More Scenes from Omakase at Morimoto Asia Disney Springs