Ivan Orkin eyes franchising opportunities in the UK following the launch of Ivan Mazemen

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Ivan Orkin eyes franchising opportunities in the UK for Ivan Ramen following the launch of Ivan Mazemen

Related tags Ivan Orkin Ramen Sessions Japanese cuisine

High-profile US-based ramen chef Ivan Orkin is exploring further expansion in the UK after licensing a new concept to delivery and food hall business Sessions.

Ivan Mazemen is in the midst of residencies at Sessions’ two food halls in London and Brighton in preparation for a launch across its over 100-strong network of delivery kitchens later this year. 

The spin-off brand from Orkin’s Ivan Ramen - which was founded in Tokyo in 2006 and now operates a single site in New York - is focused on mazemen, a fairly obscure (in the West, at least) sub genre of ramen that’s served brothless. 

During the launch of the Brighton residency, the chef revealed that he was actively seeking franchise partners to bring Ivan Ramen to the UK.  

“We were trying to franchise the Ivan Ramen brand, and as far as all the documentation and things you need, we’re pretty close,” he says. “Sessions reached out to us and initially they wanted to do Ivan Ramen for this concept, but I deferred because I want to keep that for brick and mortar. We then we came up with this Ivan Mazemen concept specifically for this. It travels quite well.”

“It was a cool opportunity. I’ve always been a really a big fan of the UK and looking for excuses to come here and do something fun. I get to be in London and Brighton for a bit and get to reach out to people that have always been interested in the brand.” 

Originally from Long Island, Orkin’s two original ramen shops in Tokyo were critically well-received and traded for nearly 10 years. 

He returned to New York in 2011 to open two Ivan Ramen sites. The group’s Hell’s Kitchen site closed in November 2020 due to the pandemic. 

In 2017, Orkin was featured on Netflix Chef’s Table series, cementing his reputation as one of the US’s foremost authorities on ramen and Japanese food more generally. 

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