Mihoko Obunai

Atlanta, GA

Chef Mihoko Obunai has been an integral part of the Atlanta culinary scene for quite some time. Initially known for her restaurant Repast that she co-opened, Obunai’s career has been chronicled in esteemed publications such as Bon Appetit and FOOD & WINE.

In 2010 she was selected as a StarChef “Rising Star Chef” and later competed on the Food Network’s “Chopped”. In 2012, Obunai trained with Chef Jack Nakamura (her ramen mentor) at Ramen Lab in New York City. Furthermore, Obunai won the “First Annual Ramen Battle” at The 10th Annual StarChefs International Chefs Congress in Brooklyn, NY. She was the only woman Ramen Master and beat fierce chef competitors Jamison Blankenship (Chuko), Harold Jurado (Google, Richie Nakano (Hapa Ramen), and Youji Iwakura (Snappy Ramen). Judges included Katsuya Fukushima of Daikaya, Tim Cushman of O Ya, Adam Sachs of Saveur, Isao Yamada of Brushstroke, and Chef Wylie Dufresne.

Following this stint, she later launched her own ramen pop-up “Mibo Ramen” nationwide. In 2014, Obunai launched another ramen pop-up at Atlanta’s Soundtable called “Ramen Freak” which was met with great acclaim.

Obunai’s newest concept is Nexto, an Old Fourth Ward ramen concept in conjunction with Concentrics Restaurants that opened in 2016.

Accolades & Publications

  • The 10th Annual StarChefs International Chefs Congress – First Annual Ramen Battle Winner (2015)
  • Food Network’s “Chopped” – Contestant (2012)
  • Star Chefs – Rising Star Chef (2010)


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