Importer, Exporter, Distributer
Wholesaler, Manufacturer, Educator



Sushi, the quintessence of Japanese food, is going through growing pains. With its quick and widespread popularity, the industry is now facing an acute shortage of skilled chefs. This jeopardizes not only cultural and culinary integrity, but brings up 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’s currently poised to fill the gap created in the international market.
Sushi Institute of America(SIA) produces skilled chefs who can carry on the true art form that the former generations of hardworking Sushi chefs have so diligently built. The base includes the preparation, art, tradition, safety, and philosophy of traditional Japanese food preparation. SIA meets the “globalization” realm where now, individuals from all backgrounds can step up to challenge the exiting field in the Sushi profession.


Since the introduction of Edomae Sushi to America in 1965 by then General Manager of Mutual Trading Company, Noritoshi Kanai, Sushi has forever changed the dining lifestyles of many Americans. The new culinary sensation didn’t stop there, as the industry planted its cultural and commercial foodfold in So Cal, and then spread out, global in scale. The rest is history.

Starting in Southern California in 1997 Katsuya Uechi championed a new era of Sushi dining with his creative, charismatic, and skillful culinary style. However, from his own success, Katsuya faced shortages of skilled chefs to carry on his vision. Right along with this dilemma, he also felt a profound calling to contribute back to the very industry that has brought him success.
In Katsuya’s mind, ideas to educate and to train future Sushi chefs started to take form. Around the same time, Kanai’s business empire was spreading with products reaching faraway places, however, into regions void of skilled Sushi chefs. The two industry giants founded SUSHI INSTITUTE OF AMERICA in 2008, with a shared vision to promote the true spirit of traditional Sushi, to educate in the proper techniques, and to advocate for the integrity of Sushi businesses, all by fostering talented chefs of the future.


Sushi Institute of America is an education and training center to train the best Sushi chefs to carry on the art of Sushi cuisine worldwide. Located in the commercial district off Downtown Los Angeles, the facility is appointed with professional equipment, stations, and tools found in typical Japanese restaurant kitchen environments. Under the direction of Principal and Executive Instructor Katsuya Uechi, SIA provides several courses for various student profiles, from avid cooking enthusiasts, Sushi chef trainees, to the already experienced career chefs. Katsuya elaborates the training process through his own trying experience as chef and hares his own passionate philosophy.


Authentic Edomae Sushi is based on a fast food – “order-on-demand” – interactive culinary system that’s quite demanding and unique compared to other cuisines from around the world. It requires skill in:

  • Seasonal food knowledge and their preparation = to serve quality, clean, safe Sushi
  • speed and poise = to be an efficient chef
  • creativity = that can bring fame & ownership of one’s own invention
  • salesmanship = to entice customers to new and exciting culinary discoveries
  • service oriented social skills = to keep healthy customer relationships
  • well informed knowledge base = lively & interesting client communication
  • stand-up performance skills = that can make customers happy
  • impeccable memory = which can turn happy customers to loyal customers

And above all, a Sushi chef must master and execute these skills simultaneously – it’s a culinary art and skill a dedication to customer service or Omotenashi, and a career that requires a never ending, life-long commitment to learning.


SUSHI INSTITUTE OF AMERICA offers several types of classes to suit a variety of student needs

  • Basic Course a starter course covering and in depth study on 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, and 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. Great team building activity.
  • Five Days Course
  • customized 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 information below.



843 East Fourth Street Los Angeles, CA 90013 USA
tel: 213.617.8090 fax:213.617.8390


Sake School of America is an education and training center specializing in Sake, Shochu, and Japanese liquors, for Sake professionals and enthusiasts, to expand knowledge and to explore further enjoyment of the category.


With the expansion of the Japanese food industry, customer service is becoming key in maintaining sound business base. The liquor line can be a particular category of distinction, presenting opportunity for unique customer propositions. One knowledgeable Sake professional on staff can convert wine aficionados into Sake followers. This is true for Western distilled liquors fans into Shochu, and American beer drinkers into Japan’s micro-brews. Most importantly, liquor sales can turn in high profits.

SAKE SCHOOL OF AMERICA (SSA) aims toward fostering higher appreciation, as well as memorable drinking and dining experiences. Fully committed in educating trade professionals and enthusiasts alike, SSA promotes Japan’s unique liquor culture in faraway countries at the same level of understanding and of
enjoyment as is in its homeland of Japan. This is a part of a larger vision aiming to ensure dissemination of traditional and true Japanese food culture to the world, and into the future.

Instructor and Master Sake Sommelier Toshio Ueno, instruction by Master Sake Sommelier Ami Nakanishi, Timothy Sullivan Sake Sommelier, Takao Matsukawa Sake Sommelier and Latin Region
Specialist, and others. Classes run regularly on the East and West Coasts. SSA is accredited by Sake Service Institute, the largest organized body for Sake sommelier certification in Japan.


  • Certified Sake Adviser
  • Certified Sake Sommelier
  • Shochu Specialist
  • Beer Adviser
  • Professional Server Training


  • Menu Planning
  • Food Pairing
  • Server Training
  • Customized Consulting
  • Brewery visits
  • Sommelier & Wine/Sake competitions


Robert Bath, Master Sommelier,
Wine and Beverage Instructor
The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, St.Helena

Ueno has an unparalleled understanding of sake, but it’s his ability to explain this often confusing subject of Sake that makes his expertise so worthwhile.

Takaaki Koyama,Owner
Bishamon Group / Daikokuya Ramen,Los Angeles

Along with the Sake Adviser certification from Sake School of America, I’m able to receive certification from SSI as well. I finally feel that I’ve developed a sound grounding in Sake knowledge to help my business, and am now awakened to the endlessly intriguing and complex realm which exists in the Sake world.

Linda Burum
Freelance Food Journalist, Los Angeles

My Shochu class was terrifically organized. Just as valuable were the well-planned tastings that encompassed the broadest spectrum of Shochu flavors, classifications and potential for food pairings. The class will be a superb resource for anyone planning to serve or distribute Japanese beverages.

James King,
Certified Wine Educator and Wine Judge
Chief Educator & President / The Texas Wine School, Dallas

I have always been curious about Sake and as a Wine educator wanted to know more about its process and style. To understand a product, you need to know its history, processes and styles, and this course covers all in a fun and entertaining program.

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



431 Crocker St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
tel: 213-830-9557 fax: 213-626-5130

Coming soon