Renowned Japanese Chinese cuisine chef Chen Kenichi passed away on March 11 at a Tokyo hospital due to interstitial pneumonia. He was 67. Chen was famously known as the “Iron Chef Chinese” on the Fuji TV show Iron Chef, where he was the longest-serving and only original Iron Chef in Japan. Chen was the son of Chen Kenmin, an influential chef who introduced Sichuan cuisine to Japan and is regarded as the father of Sichuan cuisine in Japan. Chen’s success on Iron Chef earned him the title of the “Iron Man of Chinese Cuisine.” Despite his passing, the Szechwan Restaurant Group remains operational with plans for Chen’s farewell party in mid-May. In memory of Chen, many Japanese personalities have paid tribute to his influence in promoting Chinese cuisine in Japan.
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