Iron Chef Sakai of Japan Prepares Gourmet Dinner in Los Angeles

Dec 13, 2012, 07:51 ET from Japan America Society of Southern California

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Local celebrities and more than 220 members and supporters of the Japan America Society of Southern California (JASSC) enjoyed a rare dinner experience Saturday night at its Iron Chef Sakai LIVE event, featuring a multi-course gourmet meal prepared by Japan's most famous chef, Hiroyuki Sakai, better known as "Iron Chef Sakai". 


The dinner took place at the InterContinental LA Century City at Beverly Hills and it was co-presented by Nitto Tire U.S.A. and the InterContinental LA Century City at Beverly HillsAmerican Airlines served as the event's official airline sponsor.  Proceeds will benefit the JASSC, an organization established to build meaningful relationships between Japanese and Americans.

Iron Chef is a popular television cooking show produced in Japan by Fuji Television Network, Inc.  "Iron Chef Sakai LIVE" was Fuji Television's first-ever official Iron Chef event outside of Japan.  As each of the six courses were prepared, large screens aired live video of Iron Chef Sakai in the kitchen.  Chef Sakai, working side-by-side with the InterContinental LA luxury hotel's executive chef, Jonathan Wood, also greeted guests and introduced each course.  At the conclusion of the dinner, chefs Sakai and Wood posed for photographs with the guests.

Chef Sakai was clearly delighted.  "It is a great honor for me to come to Los Angeles and work with Executive Chef Jonathan Wood on this special dinner event," said Chef Sakai. "It was a lot of work, but the results speak for themselves."

"In my twenty years at Japan America Society, this was one of our most enjoyable and memorable events," said JASSC president, Douglas Erber.  "It was a once-in-a-lifetime dinner experience for everyone involved, and it introduced a groundbreaking form of 'dinner show' entertainment with the guests and chefs interacting with one another through live audio and video." 

"For helping make tonight possible, we have to thank my good friend and mentor, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, a director-general in Japan's Ministry of Finance," said Tomoshige Mizutani, president of Nitto Tire U.S.A.  "Mr. Furusawa was involved in the 2000 G-7 Finance Ministers' Summit hosted in Japan where Chef Sakai prepared the meals for the finance ministers and central bank directors."  Mizutani added that Mr. Furusawa persuaded Chef Sakai to visit Los Angeles for the Iron Chef Sakai LIVE event.

Mizutani's motivation for supporting Iron Chef Sakai LIVE was both to help promote JASSC and to express appreciation for the unprecedented support from America after last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  Nitto Tire U.S.A. has a manufacturing plant in the Sendai area, where its workers and the plant were affected by the disaster.

"Working with Iron Chef Sakai was truly a special experience," said Mari Miyoshi, president of Sumitomo Realty & Development, USA, owner of the InterContinental LA Century City at Beverly Hills.  "Chef Sakai is very humble, and although we just met for the first time, Executive Chef Jonathan Wood and our hotel staff quickly developed an immediate connection and we felt as if we have been working with him for years." 

"American Airlines was honored to be a part of this amazing evening," said Nancy Matsui, national sales director at American Airlines.  "We welcome Chef Sakai's return to the city of Los Angeles anytime!"

It was clear from the enthusiastic reactions from the evening's dinner guests that they, too, will welcome Chef Sakai back to Los Angeles.  

About Iron Chef Sakai  
Hiroyuki Sakai is a well-known Japanese chef who specializes in French cuisine.  Chef Sakai is most famous for being on Fuji Television's cooking competition show, Iron Chef, appearing for six years beginning in 1994.  He was named "King of Iron Chefs" after winning the show's grand finale.  Chef Sakai is known for the presentation of his dishes, which feature a Japanese kaiseki-style.  He is also the owner and head chef of Tokyo's prestigious restaurant, La Rochelle, named after the seaside city in France that Chef Sakai visited in his youth.  In 2009, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare presented Chef Sakai with the Gendai no Meiko (Contemporary Master Craftsmen) award, which honors Japan's foremost artisans in various fields.

About Nitto Tire   
Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc. develops performance tires for all uses, including racing, off-road and street. Using state-of-the-art manufacturing and testing facilities in both Japan and the United States – Nitto provides innovative and high-quality performance tires for the most demanding automotive enthusiasts. For more information about Nitto or its products, visit the company's web site or contact the company directly. Nitto is a registered trademark of Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., located at 5665 Plaza Drive, Ste. 250, Cypress, Calif., 90630.

About InterContinental LA Century City at Beverly Hills  
The renowned landmark of the InterContinental LA luxury hotel is just minutes away from Beverly Hills, major entertainment studios and sun-drenched beaches.  The hotel features 361 spacious guestrooms including 148 suites, all offering panoramic views of Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the Pacific Ocean.  Guests can dine either in the Park Grill Restaurant or in the elegant Lobby Lounge that offers tapas style shared plates.  InterContinental LA offers 16,650 square feet of meeting space, including the newly renovated Grand Salon with more than 4,000 square feet of divisible space.  The InterContinental brand is located in more than 60 countries, operating 138 hotels worldwide.   phone (310) 284-6500

About American Airlines  
American Airlines, American Eagle® and the AmericanConnection® carrier serve 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories with, on average, more than 3,500 daily flights.  American's award-winning website,®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers.  American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own.  Together, its members and members-elect serve more than 900 destinations with more than 9,000 daily flights to 150 countries and territories.  American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AmericanAirlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection,, and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. AMR Corporation common stock trades under the symbol "AAMRQ" on the OTCQB marketplace, operated by OTC Markets Group.

About Japan America Society of Southern California 
The Japan America Society of Southern California (JASSC) was founded in 1909 to build economic, cultural, governmental and personal relationships between the people of Japan and America.  It has grown to become the West Coast's premier educational and public affairs forum dedicated to the United States–Japan relationship by offering unique opportunities to become involved in the business and cultural relationship between the two countries.  JASSC is a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable and educational organization and it is supported by 125 Japanese and American corporate members and nearly 2,000 individual members.  

Douglas G. Erber
President, Japan America Society of Southern California
Tel: (213) 627-6217 ext. 208

SOURCE Japan America Society of Southern California