Hi there. My name is Keizo Shimamoto and I am a Ramen Freak. What does that mean, you ask? Let’s see, how can I explain.
In 1983, I ate my first bowl of ramen. For the most part I do not remember it, but I do remember that I was in Tokyo and that it was a traditional shoyu (soy sauce) flavor. (Thank you mom for sharing that first bowl with me!)
In 2007, I started a ramen blog called Go Ramen! and began posting reviews of every ramen shop in Southern California. In just half a year I had reviewed 48 different shops and ranked them. Obviously, food reviews are very subjective and my reviews weren’t the best, but hey I just really enjoyed slurping.
In 2008, my blog traveled back to Tokyo not only once, but twice, and I became reacquainted with my ramen obsession. It was during these trips that I began feeling like my future had to involve ramen somehow, someway. It was also the year of the Foo-Foo Challenge–31 consecutive days of slurping all 31 ramen on the menu.
In 2009, I embarked on “The Dream Ramen Journey”–28 days, 21 cities, 55 bowls of ramen. And then it happened. This was the year I became a Ramen Freak. This was the year I quit my cush corporate programmer job and decided to move to Japan to learn from some of the best. This was the year I became friends with Ivan Orkin and became his apprentice at the original Ivan Ramen in Minami-Karasuyama–a start any Ramen Freak would die for.
In 2010, I was recruited by one of my favorite ramen shops in Tokyo–Bassanova. It was here that I learned of my ramen destiny. It was too true to be a dream and too amazing to be real, but it was. I was living the ramen life and cherishing every moment.
In 2011, I was reminded how shaky this life can be. I left Bassanova for a brief stint at the famous Nakamuraya in Ebina, but returned to Bassanova when I got a call from the big boss. Less than three years into my ramen dream and I was now the sole manager (店長) of a ramen shop in Japan. I also ate a personal record 600 bowls of ramen this year.
In 2012, Ramen Dreams wins best short at Food Film Fest in NYC!!!
In 2016, Go Ramen! Go Life! became a reality.
In 2017, I reached a whole new level.