Also known as Ivan Ramen, he is a professional chef known for specializing in Ramen based dishes. He owns and operates two restaurants in Japan as well as the Ivan Ramen Slurp Shops at the Gotham West Market on 11th Avenue in New York and on the Lower East side. He is also known for having been featured in an episode of the Netflix series Chef's Table.
His career in the restaurant industry started when he was fifteen and worked as a dishwasher at a sushi bar. He then attended the University of Colorado, Boulder where he studied Japanese. He left to teach abroad and returned in 1990 to attend the Culinary Institute of America.
He is also known for having published his own cookbook entitled "Ivan Ramen".
He was born and raised in Long Island, New York. The original idea to open up a Ramen style shop in Japan was a suggestion from his wife.