Keizo Shimamoto loves ramen. Last year alone, he says he ate 600 bowls of it. The Nisei (second generation Japanese American) from Huntington Beach, California, loves ramen so much that he quit his job and moved to Tokyo to pursue his dream of becoming a ramen chef. Working with different ramen chefs, including the sensational Shigetoshi Nakamura of Sun Noodle’s Ramen Lab in New Jersey, Keizo is now perfecting his skills at Bassanova Ramen in Setagaya, Tokyo.
Keizo chronicles his ramen experiences on his blog, Go Ramen!, and he is the subject of a documentary short, appropriately named Ramen Dreams. The film will be screened along with three other Japanese food-related flicks on Friday for the sold-out I ♥ Japan night, part of the New York Food Film Festival that begins tonight and runs through Sunday.
JapanCulture•NYC caught up with Keizo at Sunday’s Japan Block Fair and NY Street Ramen Contest, where he shared his story with us.