LUCKYINSIDER: Jet Tila
From Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of Los Angeles to the Las Vegas Strip, and from backyard cooking classes to battling legends on “Iron Chef America”, Jet Tila has carved a singular niche as a culinary storyteller. Born into the 'first family' of Thai food in Los Angeles that opened the first Thai restaurants and grocery stores in the country, the chef life was meant for Jet. In this episode of LUCKYINSIDER, we speak with a culinary ambassador who is shining light on Thai cuisine in America:
LUCKYRICE: How has being on Food Network given you more insight into the culinary industry?
Jet Tila: The culinary sphere is so diverse and it has been amazing to see and experience firsthand the world of food television. Being able to work alongside my culinary inspirations including Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, and Giada De Laurentiis has been a dream come true.
LUCKYRICE: You've made appearances on numerous multimedia platforms including "No Reservations" and "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" - any memorable moments?
Jet: There are so many! Battling Iron Chef Morimoto was one of the most memorable days of my culinary career and eating dinner with Anthony Bourdain while discussing the Thai dining scene in Las Vegas was simply surreal.
LUCKYRICE: You've set three world records: the world's largest stir fry, the world's largest seafood stew, and the largest California roll -- what record will you be breaking next?
Jet: Five world records, adding in the "Longest Granola Bar" and "Largest Fruit Salad" to that list. I think I'll be taking a little break from "giant" food for a while.
LUCKYRICE: Do you think there are any differences between Thai food on the West Coast versus the East Coast?
Jet: Most definitely. There is a great amount of diversity within the Thai cuisine available on the West Coast, compared to that on the East Coast, mainly because the first Thai restaurants were started in Los Angeles around 1970. You can find the best of Northern Thai, Southern Thai, Isaarn, and Bangkok’s best in the City of Angels.
LUCKYRICE: What is a common misconception people have about Thai cuisine?
Jet: Thai cuisine is not all supposed to be so spicy that your head sweats all the time. In my honest opinion, it is more about finding a right balance of refreshing bright flavors.
LUCKYRICE: What inspired your "Melting Pot Food Tours" of Thai Town in Los Angeles?
Jet: I had been giving the unofficial tour of Thai Town for almost 15 years to VIPS, chefs, and celebrities and thought that it would be amazing to give the same access to a few people every year. Melting Pot is a great company and the perfect partner!
LUCKYRICE: Favorite late night snack?
Jet: Chicken wings, fried and smothered in a sauce made from three parts sweet chili and one part Sriracha!