Chef, culinary anthropologist, entrepreneur, culinary world record holder and Food Network star, Jet Tila has roots deeply embedded in the industry and ones that significantly establish him firmly in the art form he is most passionate about: storytelling through food.
Born from the first Thai food family of Los Angeles, California, a family which established the first Thai markets and restaurants in the U.S.—Tila brings innovation and artistry into the traditional Thai food fold to create a signature style that is at heart, his own.
As the inaugural Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine, a title and role entrusted to him by the Royal Thai Consul-General, Tila’s repertoire stretches far and wide. Along with a host of accolades and achievements, Tila has made notable appearances and contributions to projects that include No Reservations, Parts Unknown, Chopped, Iron Chef America, Cutthroat Kitchen, Beat Bobby Flay, Guy’s Grocery Games, and the Today Show. Tila is a Dream of Los Angeles Award recipient, a distinction given out annually in honor of Asian and Pacific Islander Month.
Jet also partnered with Steve Wynn to open Wazuzu, a groundbreaking Pan-Asian restaurant, at Steve Wynn’s Encore Casino and Resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Tila has also inspired and cultivated a concept partnership with the largest foodservice company in the world, the Compass Group, to bring more versatile food opportunities and resources to chefs everywhere.
In partnership with The Compass Group, a company that serves 9.4 million meals a day in America, Tila has launched a program called VegRev, or rather Veg Revolution. Fruits and vegetables are not only nutritious, but they bring unique and diverse flavors to the plate. Affecting change and inspiring a healthier eating movement has always been a core tenet of Tila’s culinary philosophy and chefs are the tip of the spear when it comes to creating a movement around increasing nutritious and fresh produce consumption.
In addition to his work with the Compass Group, Tila has also played significant roles in establishing Modern Asian Kitchen, Stir Market, Kuma Snow Cream, Melting Pot Food Tours of Thai Town in Los Angeles, and Bistronomics—a series of pop-up restaurant experiences in L.A.
Further expanding his portfolio, Jet has debuted a café at Google headquarters in Silicon Valley and has a popular Asian food line through Schwan’s Home Service.
In order to build a foundation for his rich passionate foundation, Jet attended and completed his culinary education at Le Cordon Bleu, establishing a framework of classical French technique to elevate his extensive knowledge of Asian cooking, and allowing him to more fluidly articulate his artistic capabilities and vision.
Along with his education at Le Cordon Bleu, Jet also completed an intensive study program at the California Sushi Academy.
As Tila moves between chef, media and culinary icon, artist, and father, he is in constant search of, what he calls, authentic flavors. In an effort to discover more of these flavors and to better understand more about his own culture, Tila published 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die: Discover a New World of Flavors in Authentic Recipes. From a kid growing up in L.A. in a Thai and Chinese family to a prominent chef and restaurant owner, this book is both a chronology of culinary tradition and also its rediscovery.