Meet Chef Jet Tila
Celebrity chef Jet Tila is currently the Executive Chef at the Charleston in Santa Monica. Not only did Jet grow up cooking with Kikkoman, he has also partnered with them through the Chef Training Program at the Culinary Institute of America. This summer, he'll be continuing his partnership with Kikkoman by creating a variety of unique grilling recipes that use the brand's celebrated sauces.
Combining kitchen experience with the bold new world of food media was a natural move for Tila, whose backyard cooking classes attracted the attention of the Los Angeles Times. He has successfully transitioned from subject to producer by writing for the Times and contributing to many other publications and multimedia platforms, including National Public Radio, the Food Network, and his appearances on the "CBS Early Show," "No Reservations," "Best Thing I Ever Ate," and battling legendary Chef Masaharu Morimoto on "Iron Chef America," among many more. A highly sought-after consultant, Tila opened the cafe at Google headquarters in Silicon Valley and also currently maintains a wildly popular Asian food line through Schwan’s Home Service. He keeps close to his roots by conducting "Melting Pot Food Tours" of Thai Town in Los Angeles, offering participants a curated tour of his favorite aspects of the neighborhood.
Tila's current and future projects promise to bring him and his culinary skills to more prominence. He is currently working with the Compass Group to open Modern Asian Kitchen, a fast-casual Pan-Asian concept with locations nationwide, and is branching out on his own to open Kuma Snowcream, a shaved-ice concept launching in Las Vegas in spring 2013—the product of which he says is "like fresh, powdered snow, but that is creamy and tastes like ice cream." "At this point, I am interested in creating concepts, not just one-offs," he says. "I am and always will be a chef, but I am also always interested in new ways to combine cooking, business, and communication, since I enjoy all of them as much as I enjoy teaching people about where I come from through my food."
Tila currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Allison, and newborn daughter, Amaya, as well as their two dogs.