If someone has to get credit for pioneering the introduction of Japanese food to the American people it is Rocky (Hiroaki) Aoki, the founder of Benihana, who passed away on July 10.
I met him briefly while attending an event promoting the first Japanese Restaurant Week in New York.
His aging playboy looks and still accented English made him standout from the crowd of plain business execs sharing the stage with him.
Jurek Martin tells us about Rocky's colorful life story in Japanese swashbuckler who tasted success in America (FT, July 26).
Bon voyage Rocky!