Famed Iron Chef guest stars on Hawaii Five-0

Masaharu Morimoto
Masaharu Morimoto
Morimoto (on right) on the Hawaii-50 set with Alex O'Loughlin (in sling) and Scott Caan (center, in necktie)
Morimoto (on right) on the Hawaii-50 set with Alex O'Loughlin (in sling) and Scott Caan (center, in necktie)

By Teri Okita – bio | email

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Celebrities keep lining up for guest spots on Hawaii Five-0. First it was Nick Lachey, then Sean P-Diddy Combs. Now, the latest star with a guest role - famed Iron Chef Morimoto – who jumped at the offer to make cameo appearance.

Masaharu Morimoto wanted to keep his role organic. No pre-rehearsing for this reality star. Instead, he practiced his lines moments before they yelled, "Action!"

"I'm not an actor. I'm not a singer, so I have to do it natural. This is Morimoto. This is Masaharu Morimoto," he says

Okay, so this part wasn't such a big stretch for the Food Network star. He plays a chef … who's name is Morimoto … who loves karaoke. In the show, he sings the song, "What a Wonderful World", before McGarrett and Danno interrupt his karaoke session. They've come to the restaurant to investigate a fish that could contain evidence of a crime.

And believe it or not, Morimoto sees a lot of similarities between acting and cooking. He explains "I'm performing behind the sushi bar or kitchen. I have an open kitchen, so I make (food) so everybody can see the inside what we're doing."

The 55 year old watched the original Hawaii Five-0 as a teenager in Hiroshima, Japan, and when he opened his Waikiki restaurant last fall, he saw the show taping nearby. "I saw the helicopter. They're shooting, maybe first or second episode, and then, I asked, "What is this for?" and then (the response), "Hawaii Five-0".

The wheels began turning for a guest spot. Now, after just half-a-day of shooting, the Michelin-rated chef would even consider a recurring role.

I asked him, "So, which do you think is better, then? Having a Michelin star or being a TV star?" Morimoto thought for a second, laughed, and said, "Ahhhh, very political question. Both!"

A Michelin star rating is one of the highest honors in the culinary world, but now, could Morimoto be eyeing an Emmy? Only the Iron Chef knows for sure.

You can see what's cookin' when Morimoto's episode airs on Hawaii Five-0, Monday March 21st.

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