The Popular Event Raised Much Needed Funds for Habitat for Humanity
A new chili champion has been crowned by the people the 9th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cookoff at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Kiyokuni Ikeda of Umi Sushi and Sushi Bar was the surprise winner of the event.
All the Chefs at Pechanga take this Completion super seriously. He edged out eleven other Pechanga Chefs’ chili varieties for this year’s Bragging rights. The optios included Texas-style chili with trio of meat, steak chili mac, and black bean chili con carne and an incredible brisket topped chili from Kelsey’s.
Over 1.600 people pored into Saturday’s event. Proceeds from the event support Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley programs including homebuilding, free Healthy Homes and Financial Wellness workshops, neighborhood revitalization, home improvement on behalf of veterans and the organization’s two ReStore locations.
Kiyokuni Ikeda, a self-taught chef since age 10, left high school to run his ailing father’s restaurant near Tokyo. After learning the foundations of sushi at a high-end Tokyo restaurant, Kiyokuni came to America, and spent 15 years at prestigious sushi restaurants, including Morimoto under Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. At Umi, Kiyokuni’s exciting twists include live spiny sea urchin and scallops.