Our Story: From America To Japan & Back
Hi, <<First Name>>.
Delicious food always has a story, and so we wanted to share ours with you.
It all began at age 15 when our chef and founder, Ivan Orkin, discovered his love for Japanese culture while working as a dishwasher at a sushi bar. This small event would inform his education (majoring in Japanese language) and foster his eventual move to Japan soon after graduating college.
After a few years in Japan, Ivan returned to the US and eventually attended the Culinary Institute of America to begin his culinary training. At this point, he never had even thought about combining his love of Japan with his love of cooking. After graduating, Ivan worked at great NY restaurants such as Mesa Grill and Lutece, and eventually as a corporate chef for Restaurant Associates.
But Japan was always his calling, so Ivan returned to Tokyo to once again live in his adopted homeland. While living there for his second time, Ivan pondered what kind of business to open- a cooking school, a sandwich shop, pizzeria. He was at a loss. It was his wife who suggested that he do the unthinkable, and open a ramen shop. In a country where ramen enjoys cult-like status, this move seemed destined to fail. But, incredibly, Ivan not only succeeded, but his shop IVAN RAMEN became one of the top ramen shops in Tokyo, a previously unheard of accomplishment for a foreigner.
Success in Japan soon lead to legions of worldwide fans clamoring for a taste of his ramen. Fast forward a few years, and now Ivan has expanded his operations to two restaurants in NYC, a bestselling cookbook, an appearance on Netflix’s Chef’s Table, A TED talk, and more articles in magazines and on the internet than we can count.
So that’s a bit about Ivan and us. Stick around to continue learning more about our story and the secrets behind our ramen.
The Ivan Ramen Team