TEMECULA, Calif.—Kiyokuni Ikeda, a self-taught sushi chef, has landed the top job at Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar at Pechanga Resort & Casino. After spending nearly 15 years working at sushi restaurants in Philadelphia such as Zama and Morimoto (of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto fame), Ikeda now calls Southern California home.
“This move has been very lucky for me and my family. We’ve dreamed of coming to California. We look forward to going camping and exploring Southern California,” he said.
At Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar, he has brought in new items such as live spiny sea urchin and raw scallops to the menu. “When I’m cooking, I always imagine the happy faces of my family and customers enjoying my food. That gives me great satisfaction,” said Ikeda.