Chef Masako Morishita

Perry's Restaurant, D.C. (she / her / hers)

Masako Morishita grew up in her family’s nearly 100-year-old restaurant and bar in Kobe, Japan. Her first memories of learning how to make dumplings with her mother to the familiar smells of dashi, mirin, and soy in her grandma’s kitchen, Masako’s style of cooking emphasizes memories of her childhood over conformity. Masako cites her mother, who shares her love for experimenting with different ingredients and techniques, as inspiration for her innovative style. In 2019, Masako launched her first pop-up concept OTABE (a Japanese word meaning a mother encouraging her children to eat) and soon caught the attention of others in the D.C. restaurant industry, and left the corporate world to work full-time as Maxwell Park’s executive chef in 2021. The following year, Masako was selected as a DC StarChef Rising Star and named executive chef at Perry’s. She has retooled the nearly 40-year-old legendary Adams Morgan establishment with her signature style of authentic Japanese comfort food. Since taking on her latest role, Masako has been selected to join the American Culinary Corp, an initiative led by the US State Department to aid with public diplomacy through food, hospitality, and the dining experience. Eater DC named Masako 2023 Chef of the Year and she was a 2024 James Beard Foundation semifinalist in the category of Emerging Chef.

My family’s restaurant/bar in Kobe, Japan eating, whatever my mother makes 


Maxwell Park, OTABE (D.C.)

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