problem solvers, sushi chef shortage

Sushi Chef Training

Cultural, Safety & Reputation Concerns

Sushi, the quintessence of Japanese food, is going through growing pains. With the quick and widespread popularity, the industry is now facing an acute shortage of skilled chefs. This impacts not only cultural and culinary integrity, but involves important issues such as food safety and overall industry reputation. As Sushi and Japanese food businesses continue to expand further away from the Motherland, what is truly Japanese is becoming lost along the way. And there is no organized culinary program in Japan that is currently poised to fill the gap created in the international market. The world is changing.

The world is shrinking. The Sushi Institute of America ( SIA ) was created to produce skilled chefs who can carry on the true art form that the former generations of hardworking Sushi chefs have so diligently built. That includes the preparation, art, tradition, safety, and philosophy. What SIA is adding is the “globalization" aspect where now, anyone from anywhere can step up to challenge an exciting field.



Since the introduction of Edomae Sushi to America in 1965 by Mutual Trading Company, Sushi has forever changed the dining scene in America. As American embraced the new culinary sensation, the industry planted its cultural and commercial foothold in So Cal. The rest is history, as it quickly spread around the world. As a premiere Japanese food and foodservice supplier, Mutual Trading Company, Inc. stepped up to promote and to preserve the true art form of Japanese and Sushi cuisine for future generation of chefs. So, this idea of a Sushi school was born five years ago, founded by Noritoshi Kanai, the very pioneer who brought Sushi to the US exactly 43 years ago.

More recently, as Chef Extraordinaire Katsuya Uechi championed a new age of Sushi dining experience with his creative artistry, charisma, and precision skills, his Katsuya Restaurants rose to the city’s top rankings by ZAGAT and by the popularity vote of his loyal clientele. However, from his own success, Katsuya faced shortages of skilled chefs to carry on his vision. Along with this dilemma, he also felt a profound calling to contribute back to the very industry that has brought him fame and success. In Katsuya’s mind, an idea to educate and to train future Sushi chefs started to take form. So, in September 2008, with Kanai as the founder and Chairman, and Chef Katsuya as the Principal and Executive Instructor, the SIA opened with 6 students from varied backgrounds and work experiences. Five will graduate in February 2009 from the advanced course, as fully trained Sushi chefs to challenge new and exciting careers as Sushi chefs.


The Sushi Institute of America is a place of learning and training for professional chefs and culinary enthusiasts. Located in Mutual Trading’s office and warehouse building in the commercial district off Downtown in Los Angeles, the facility is appointed with professional equipment, stations and tools that are found in a normal Japanese restaurant environment. Its mission is to train the best Sushi chefs to carry on the art of Sushi cuisine worldwide. It’s a commitment in promoting the true spirit of traditional Sushi, to educate in the proper techniques, and to share the integrity of the Sushi business, all to foster talented chefs of tomorrow, worldwide. SIA is not a “for-profit" operation positioned to compete with the already established Sushi schools in the area. In fact, SIA hopes to work together for a common cause so that the industry as a whole benefits, which will eventually have a trickling down affect to benefit consumers in general.



Authentic Edomae Sushi works on a fast food, “order-on-demand", and interactive system that’s quite demanding and unique versus any other cuisine from around the world. It requires skills in:

food knowledge and preparation = to serve good, clean, safe Sushi

creativity = that can bring fame & ownership of one's own invention

speed and poise = to become an efficient chef

salesmanship to entice something new = that can offer excitement in customers' life

stand-up performance skills = that can make customers happy

service oriented & impeccable memory = which can turn happy customers to loyal customers

social skills = to keep a healthy customer relationship

well informed knowledge base = lively & interesting client communication

And above all, a Sushi chef must master and execute simultaneously. It’s a culinary skill, dedication to customer service, and a career that requires a never ending, life-long commitment to learning.



SIA offers several types of classes to suit a variety of student needs:

  • Basic Course a starter course covering an in depth study of the essentials of preparing, presenting, and serving rolled Sushi, Nigiri Sushi and Sashimi, as well as principles on a wide range of traditional Japanese dishes.
  • Advanced Course a professional career track for aspiring Sushi chefs, an intensive immersion course covering the entire spectrum of traditional Japanese cuisine, modern rolls, fusion dishes as well as restaurant business management.
  • One Day Course a day to learn to make and serve Sushi for family and friends, a fun course to take as a group with friends.
  • Five Days Course for the very motivated home cooking enthusiast, or a practicing chef who’d like to learn Sushi making. For the serious high achiever to challenge something new - not an ordinary cooking course.

For more information, please contact Sushi Institute of America at below information.


843 East Fourth Street Los Angeles , CA 90013 USA

tel: 213.617.8090 fax: 213.617.8390