For those who don’t know me, I am a huge Food Network fan. From Chopt to Cutthroat Kitchen to Guys Grocery Games, I love them all. I enjoy seeing all the different foods the contestants make. Besides the contestants, there are famous chefs who judge the shows to assist their colleagues. One chef in particular who has appeared in numerous shows is Jet Tila. Tila is seen all over the Internet and TV. Something that is even cooler is that Tila has a special relationship with Pace’s catering company, Chartwells. Over the past two years, I was lucky enough to have met the famous chef during the university's "Battle of the Chefs" event.

Battle of the Chefs

Rebecca Newman

Battle of the Chefs is a competition very similar to Chopped or Cutthroat Kitchen. The competition starts with four contestants and three rounds, (appetizer, entree and dessert). After each round, one contestant is eliminated. The last one standing is crowned the winner. Throughout the event, homages to Cutthroat Kitchen were done by giving sabotages out such as only cooking steaks with a plastic knife. During the event, Tila did trivia questions and would give out prizes to students who answered them correctly. One prize that I won was his  best selling cookbook, 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die

What's He Like?

The first three adjectives that come to my mind when I think of Jet Tila are: funny, personable and easy to talk to. As soon as you meet him for the first time, it’s like he is your best friend. He jokes around with you and makes it seem like you have known each other your entire life. In other words, he has a very outgoing and engaging personality. When someone turns on the TV to a Food Network show that has Tila on, that personality that you see on the screen is not just pretend. Throughout both events at Pace, Tila kept on interacting with the audience. For instance, one of the things he kept on asking was if we have any "Food Network related questions" such as what it is like filming the shows he appears on or what the cast is really like.  I personally asked him what Guy Fieri was like and his response was, "Guy is awesome."

I still can’t believe that I was able to meet Tila not just once, but twice. This personable chef made these afternoons a worthwhile experience, and with my new cookbook, I am looking forward to making Tila's "Vietnamese Crystal Shrimp Spring Rolls" in the near future.