The festival boasted an impressive roster of famous food personalities -- Marcus Sameulsson, Michelle Bernstein, Andrew Zimmern, Gaile Simmons and Fort Worths own Tim Love, just to name a few. But it was Morimoto, who rose to fame in the Iron Chef and Iron Chef America television kitchen stadiums, who captured the imagination of this Texas foodie crowd.
Everywhere you looked during the weekend in Austin, Morimoto was there. From taco smackdowns, cooking demonstrations and book signings, to popping in on other chefs cooking demonstrations. Morimoto even treated the crowd at Tim Loves grilling demonstration by singing a Japanese fishing song. At Zimmern's cooking demo, he again showed his playful side. When Zimmern commented about how good Morimoto looked in shorts, the Iron Chef gave the crowd a good long look at his bum.
Who knew Morimoto was this much fun? He always looks so serious on Iron Chef America.
His jokes were funny, even though there were some we could barely understand. That in and of itself was charming, as he pantomimed along with his jokes, just in case we didn't catch everything.
Then there was his Texas yell. Every so often, if the crowed was a little to quiet, Morimoto would do his best Hook'em Horns gesture and yell Texas! or something pretty close to it. The crowed went wild!
Of course, Morimoto unleashed his Iron Chef skills, too. Before his sushi demonstration he ventured out into the Auditorium Shores park and trimmed a few branches and leaves from local plants to use as decorations in the presentation. That was more what I'd expected from Iron Chef Morimoto.
But I'm glad I got to see more of his personality at the festival. Check out the slideshow above for pictures of Iron Chef Morimotos Texas adventure.