CHEF MORIMOTO INTRODUCES CHEF YUHI FUJINAGA AS EXECUTIVE CHEF FOR MORIMOTO ASIA AT DISNEY SPRINGS
A culinary relationship 17 years in the making comes full circle in Orlando
Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Patina Restaurant Group today announced the appointment of Yuhi Fujinaga as Executive Chef of Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort. Beginning immediately, Chef Yuhi will be overseeing the day-to-day culinary operations at The Iron Chef’s first-ever pan-Asian restaurant.
“I met Chef Morimoto as a young chef in Hawaii, where I grew up. We bonded quickly over our love of fresh fish, big flavors and new cooking techniques,” said Chef Yuhi. “Through working alongside him at a variety of events throughout the country, I have been inspired by him and his approach to cooking and am thrilled that it’s come full circle.”
Previously, Chef Yuhi was Executive Chef at Patina Restaurant Group’s New York City-based, Sea Grill. A protégé of Chef Ed Brown, who established the restaurant as one of the top seafood destinations in the city, Chef Yuhi has also worked at New York’s Bar Basque. He lived and worked in Spain at the esteemed Echaurren with Chef Francis Paniego, at Casa Solla with Chef Pepe Solla, and at Gaminiz with Chef Aitor Elizegi. He held posts at the Michelin-starred restaurants Eighty-One and Alain Ducasse at the Essex House.
Known for his modern cooking style, Chef Yuhi draws inspiration from his Japanese heritage and upbringing in Hawaii, where he learned to cook from his grandmother. From her, he learned that the quality of the ingredients is as important as the technique in which used to prepare them. Over the years, he has developed techniques that keep the food simple, yet full of flavor.
“Being a great chef comes from within and I know Chef Yuhi is dedicated and passionate to creating inspirational, world-class dishes,” said Chef Masuharu Morimoto. “I am confident that he will continue to showcase his talent and vision to our guests at Morimoto Asia.”
Morimoto Asia is Chef Morimoto’s newest and first Pan-Asian style restaurant. The menu is an eclectic take on some of Chef Morimoto’s favorite Asian flavors including L.A. BBQ kalbi ribs, pad Thai, Peking duck, Chinese-inspired sticky ribs, sweet-and-sour whole fried fish and Singapore laska noodles. Chinese dim sum includes items such as dumplings, shumai, shrimp har-gao and grilled chicken bao.
The restaurant also includes an intimate 14-seat sushi bar offering unique ocean seasonal specialties from Japan and around the world. A variety of specialty sushi rolls, sushi platters and seafood towers featuring highlights from the raw bar are also offered to guests not seated at the sushi bar.
Morimoto Asia is open Sunday11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. The restaurant’s second floor Forbidden Lounge late-night menu is served daily from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. For more information on Morimoto Asia visit www.morimotoasia.com or call (407) 939-MOTO.
About Patina Restaurant Group
Patina Restaurant Group (www.patinagroup.com) is a bicoastal boutique company and leader in the premium segment of the restaurant industry. In New York, its portfolio features the Michelin-starred Lincoln Ristorante, STATE Grill and Bar at the Empire State Building, Stella 34 Trattoria at Macy’s Herald Square, The Sea Grill at Rockefeller Center, Brasserie, Brasserie 8 1/2, The Grand Tier Restaurant at the Metropolitan Opera, La Fonda Del Sol at Grand Central, and The Rink at Rockefeller Center. Other East Coast properties include Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli at the Epcot World Showcase in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. On the West Coast its portfolio includes the renowned Los Angeles Times’ four-starred and Michelin-starred Patina Restaurant in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Café Pinot, Ray’s & Stark Bar, Catal and Naples in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney District, Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge, and catering and food service in museums and cultural centers throughout California.