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JET TILA

From the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Normandie Avenue in the heart of Los Angeles to the Las Vegas Strip; from backyard cooking classes to battling legends on “Iron Chef America” - Jet Tila has carved a singular niche as a culinary storyteller.

Thanks to his diverse background and education, Tila is as comfortable as chef and consultant as he is teacher and student in the art of food. His numerous accomplishments in the culinary world continue to grow. In 2013 alone, Tila has partnered with the Compass Group, the world’s largest food-service company, to launch Modern Asian Kitchen, a new fast-casual Pan-Asian concept with locations nationwide.

He is also set to separately open Kuma Snow Cream, a shaved-ice concept launching in Las Vegas this spring, all while continuing to build on his extensive national TV and radio appearances as a guest judge on “Chopped,” as well as hosting his own radio show on KLAA in Los Angeles.

Tila grew up in his family’s restaurant kitchens and markets in Los Angeles, home to the world’s largest Thai population outside of Thailand. As a boy, he spent time learning the ancient traditions of Asian cuisine from his Cantonese grandmother and working in the famed Bangkok Market, which opened in 1972, and Royal Thai restaurant, which opened in 1978. “I call it birth luck,” he says. “I was born into the ‘first family’ of Thai food in Los Angeles. My parents came here separately in 1966 and went on to open the first restaurants and grocery stores in this country and I was the kid doing homework in the back corner of the restaurant.”