Jerry Warner is executive sushi chef at Cafe Japengo.
Q: You’re celebrating 23 years at Cafe Japengo this year. What has anchored you to this one restaurant for so long?
A: When you have the opportunity to do your best on a daily basis, it makes sense to stay put, especially when you’re part of a larger company such as the Hyatt.
Q: How is Cafe Japengo different today compared to when it opened in 1990?
A: When we first opened, Cafe Japengo was ahead of our time, from the way our restaurant looked, our staff and even now with the way the economy affects our business. San Diego has so many restaurant options for the people living and visiting here.
Q: You were creating sushi before it became a mainstream cuisine. What led you to become a sushi chef?
A: At the time, I was just looking for a change of pace with my job. I have always had a passion for cooking and entertaining. That is what led me to be a sushi chef while attending college.
Q: Cafe Japengo has recently made changes to its menu to increase its use of sustainable and local resources. Tell us about the inspiration behind this new menu.
A: With the never-ending demand on the ocean and its depleting resources, Cafe Japengo and the Hyatt are doing our best to offer more sustainable products to our guests. This is the primary reason we quit serving the endangered giant bluefin tuna, as well as toro, a fatty tuna.
Q: You’re located at the Aventine in La Jolla, often visited by business travelers staying at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, and professionals working in the onsite office building. What can Cafe Japengo offer businesspersons?
A: Being adjacent to the Hyatt, we are a short walk across the carport where one can enjoy a spot at the sushi bar or one of our more private tables to meet with clients. As always, we have offered our business clientele a wonderful environment to entertain at lunch.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of your position at Cafe Japengo?
A: Being able to serve my guests on a daily basis, while getting to know them on a personal level. I’ve know many of my guests and customers for over 23 years. Cafe Japengo has held our own for a long time!
San Pasqual Winery recently celebrated the grand opening of its new winery in La Mesa. Since owners Mike and Linda McWilliams acquired the winery in 2009, the successful winery has expanded from its small production facility in Pacific Beach to a larger facility on Center Street.
The new location allows the owners to put down roots closer to the winery's tasting room and gallery on La Mesa Blvd, as well as increase their square footage and accommodate their expanding business.
"We want to show San Diegans that they don’t have to drive all the way to Temecula to enjoy outstanding, locally produced wines," Linda McWilliams said.
Since reviving the property now known as Stone Farms in 2011, Stone Brewing Co. has been cultivating and generating produce at the small, organic farm in Escondido for its two restaurants: Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido and Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens at Liberty Station.
Now after more than two years of preparation, Stone Farms is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays, where year-round and seasonal crops are grown. The farm raises chickens, ducks and quail that produce eggs for garnishes, specialty dishes and appetizer items. An on-site store offers pints and growlers of Stone beer, merchandise and freshly picked organic produce.
"The staff and I are extremely excited to finally share our hard work and the farm's growth during the last two years. This project will help people understand why small, organic farms are important to have in our community," said David Solomon, Stone Farms manager.