Famous Chefs from Japan

List of the famous chefs from Japan. List includes some of the best chefs from Japan, along with photos when available. This list of renowned Japanese chefs is ordered alphabetically, but if you're searching for a specific chef from Japan then you can use the "search" box to find who you're looking for. List is made up of a variety of chefs, including Harumi Kurihara and Masaharu Morimoto.

This list answers the questions, "What famous chefs are from Japan?" and "Who are the greatest Japanese chefs?"

You can click on the names of the famous chefs of Japan in order to get more information about each one. If you're a food lover then use this list of popular Japanese chefs to discover some new cooks.

  • Chen Kenichi
    Photo: YouTube
    Chen Kenichi (陳建一, Chin Ken'ichi, simplified Chinese: 陈建一; traditional Chinese: 陳建一; pinyin: Chén Jiànyī Japanese name 陳建太郎. He was born on January 5th, 1956 in Tokyo, Japan), whose name is often romanized Chin Kenichi in Japanese sources, is a chef best known for his role as the Iron Chef Chinese on the television series Iron Chef 料理の鉄人. Nicknamed The Szechuan Sage, he wears a yellow outfit and rises into Kitchen Stadium holding a cleaver in his hand. He is the only Iron Chef to have held his position throughout the life of the show. He was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a Chinese father of Japanese nationality and his formal name is Ken'ichi Azuma (東 建一, Azuma Ken'ichi).
    • Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
  • Hanaya Yoshi (華屋 与兵衛 or 花屋 與兵衛; 1799–1858) is generally credited as the inventor of today's Tokyo-style (Edomae-zushi; 江戸前寿司) nigiri sushi (hand-formed sushi) at the end of Japan's Edo period. Sushi at his time was made from freshly captured fish from the nearby Tokyo Bay. This ruled out many of today's popular materials such as salmon roe (ikura; イクラ). Even though Tokyo (とうきょう; 東京) is a coastal city, food safety was still a concern before the invention of refrigeration. To prevent spoilage, Hanaya either slightly cooked or marinated the fish in soy sauce or vinegar. It was quite reasonable for people to dislike the fatty belly meat of tuna because it would decompose very quickly. Hanaya ...more
    • Nationality: Japan
  • Harumi Kurihara (栗原 はるみ, Kurihara Harumi, born March 5, 1947) is a celebrity homemaker and television personality in Japan. Kurihara has often been called the "Martha Stewart of Japan", and has enjoyed popularity there for over twenty years. She is the host of numerous television shows, author of Suteki Recipe, a quarterly recipe magazine which has sold 5 million copies, as well as over 20 bestselling cookbooks and style magazines, has a line of cookware named after her, and owns a chain of stores. Her homemaking empire is named Yutori no Kukan, which means "a space to relax". She has had sponsorship deals with companies such as P&G, Shiseido, 3M, Takara Distillers and Nissan. She was ...more
    • Birthplace: Shimoda, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
  • Hiroyuki Sakai
    Photo: Fuji Television

    Hiroyuki Sakai

    Hiroyuki Sakai (坂井 宏行, Sakai Hiroyuki, born April 2, 1942) is a Japanese chef who specializes in French cuisine. Sakai is best known as the second, final, and longest-serving Iron Chef French on the Japanese television show Iron Chef, first appearing at the beginning of 1994 (after Yutaka Ishinabe retired) and continuing to appear over the show's nine further seasons. Sakai has the third best winning percentage of the Iron Chefs, trailing only his Iron Chef French predecessor, Yutaka Ishinabe and the first Iron Chef Japanese Rokusaburo Michiba. He was named the "King of Iron Chefs" after emerging victorious from the show's grand finale, a tournament involving all the active Iron Chefs. He ...more
    • Birthplace: Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
  • Masaharu Morimoto (森本 正治, Morimoto Masaharu, born May 26, 1955, in Hiroshima, Japan) is a Japanese chef, best known as an Iron Chef on the Japanese TV cooking show Iron Chef and its spinoff Iron Chef America. He is also known for his unique style of presenting food.
    • Birthplace: Hiroshima, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
  • Nobu Matsuhisa
    Photo: InterContinental Hong Kong / flickr / CC-BY-ND 2.0
    Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa (松久 信幸 Matsuhisa Nobuyuki; born March 10, 1949) is a Japanese celebrity chef and restaurateur known for his fusion cuisine blending traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients. His signature dish is black cod in miso. He has restaurants bearing his name in several countries. He has also played small parts in three major films.
    • Birthplace: Saitama Prefecture, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan