San Diego Has a New Reality TV Star Chef! Cafe Japengo's Executive Chef Jerry Warner Soon to Compete on Japanese Television

Chef Jerry Warner

November 18, 2013

Japanese television network TV Asahi/ABC Asahi has chosen Executive Chef Jerry Warner of San Diego's Cafe Japengo to compete on “World Challenge – Pride of Japan,” a popular annual Japanese reality tv show that pits one Japanese sushi chef against one sushi chef from another country. Of all the sushi chefs in the United States, producers have chosen Executive Chef Jerry Warner of Cafe Japengo!

Executive Chef Jerry Warner of Cafe Japengo will be the sole chef representing the USA as he competes against Chef Toshikatsu Aoki, the owner chef of Michelin-starred “Sushi Aoki” in Tokyo, Japan. The lineup of judges has not yet been fully announced but will include the Los Angeles Times’ highly respected food critic Jonathan Gold as well as San Diego’s own Amy Finley, previously a Food Network and Cooking Channel star, author of “How to Eat a Small Country,” and currently the senior editor of Riviera San Diego Magazine.

The show will air the first week of January in Japan and is reportedly a very popular show. In the Japanese culture sushi is simple and traditional, and the show seeks to pit that against the uniqueness and playfulness of American sushi. The competition will include each chef making 10 nigiri, 2 sashimi platters and 3 specialty rolls. The filming of the competition will take place and be filmed this Wednesday, November 20 in Culver City, California.

Chef Jerry Warner's passion for cooking dates back to his college years, when he accepted a position at a Japanese restaurant owned by one of his professors. In 1990 Warner joined Cafe Japengo's inaugural crew - spending the next six years as the personal apprentice to Master Sushi Chef Osamu "Fuji" Fujita. Since his promotion to Executive Sushi Chef in 1996, Warner has helped lead Cafe Japengo to numerous awards and accolades, including the California Restaurant Association's Gold Medallion Award for Best Sushi 2013. Warner also was named "Master Sushi Chef - Best of Show" in a California Rice Commission Sushi Masters Competition.

Cafe Japengo is located at 8960 University Center Lane in the Aventine.  Visit, follow Cafe Japengo on Facebook and connect on Twitter and Instagram.