Sunday, November 04, 2007

Morimoto, my hero

I was out to dinner with a very good friend of mine when the topic of the Morimoto (a celebrated chef from Japan's hit show Iron Chef) signing at Newport's Sur La Table last month came up. I wrote about what Morimoto had said to me when I was at the signing about a restaurant in Hawaii opening up but I reserved a post about the signing until I could get the pictures out of my phone. Yes, that's right - I FORGOT MY CAMERA when rushing off to the signing and had to resort to my camera phone. So I apologize for the quality of the pics, but at least I got pics.

When I arrived there, I walked in the store to inquire about the signing. I saw the poster on the sidewalk and knew it was happening but didn't know the logistics.
Autographed poster advertising Morimoto signing
I've never done this kind of thing before and Morimoto was going to be the first celebrity chef I had ever met in a signing! I had the privilege of meeting Morimoto at his New York restaurant when me and my husband were on our honeymoon a year back and that was awesome! We even got to take a picture with him! For the signing, I also brought a copy of the picture with me in hopes of having him sign it.

I walked up to the counter asking for a book and also asking about the signing logistics. The clerk replied that they'd probably start sooner since Morimoto had arrived early anticipating traffic. I was like, "he's here?!" (like a star struck idiot) And she replied, "Yeah, don't you see him back there? He's shopping!" LOL - and to my surprise, there he was, in shorts a t-shirt and the signature pony tail. I couldn't believe it. There were some people back there pretending to be shopping trying to get close to him but I could not brave doing the same thing. I just paid for my book, thanked the clerk and took my place in line.

I was about the 10th person in line.
Newport Sur La Table Book Signing - Morimoto
I was starting to get nervous. He had since changed from the shorts and t-shirt into a green kimono, same one from a page in his book - pretty cool! Anyway - I really didn't have much to say because I was pretty star struck. I just smiled and stared in awe at him until the woman said, "would you like a picture with him?" and I obliged. It wasn't until he saw the picture of me and my husband with him that I tucked into my book (sneaky!) that we actually began to converse. He looked at me after looking at the picture almost asking 'is that me?' (jokingly of course) I explained to him, or rather his publicist about our honeymoon visit to his restaurant. He laughed, drew a mustache on his face (omg!) and then signed it. As always, he is such the comedian. Soon we got talking about how I was from Hawaii and he mentioned that he'll be opening a restaurant in Oahu soon. I asked excitedly, "how soon?!" and he replied, "May...unofficial...but May." Wow - Morimoto just told me he'd be opening up a restaurant...little ole me! I know it's something so simple and other people are like, "whatever" but dang - I was just super excited. I thanked him in my best Japanese (arigato-gozaimasu) and did this awkward half bow and practically ran out of the store out of embarrassment. I'm an idiot, but that's besides the point. I had just met Morimoto and it was one of the best culinary experiences of my life.

Morimoto signing my book 2

Signed Poster outside of Sur La Table in Newport

p.s. Thanks J for telling me about the signing! I wouldn't have gotten to see him if it weren't for your heads up. Thanks!


At 4:40 PM, Blogger sko_G knits said...

aaaaahahahahhaa. nice exit. i always knew you were so graceful!!

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous trina said...

that is too funny! that's 2 times now, you stalker!

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Yum-e said...

sko - it was so worth the embarrassment, let me tell ya!

And Trina - Wanna come and stalk him with me in Hawaii sometime? hahaha!

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so. jealous. >_<


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