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 2013, from Munchies to moving to NYC to creating the Ramen Burger, life would never be the same.
In 2014, CONAN!!! Five years from quitting my job and moving to Japan, I felt that I reached my peak. Eerily I was right and there was still a lot more mountain to climb.
In 2015, the shack came to life. Born out of my frustration and a relentless love for ramen, my passion was finally center stage.
In 2016, Go Ramen! Go Life! became a reality.
In 2017, I reached a whole new level.