Chef Jet Tila introduces cooking to some Jax middle schoolers

// by Mary Hamel

Celebrity chef Jet Tila has appeared on Food Network shows like Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, Chopped Junior and more. His kid-friendly humor and knowledge of cooking allows him to succeed above and beyond the kitchen. Jet Tila

With two of his own, children play an important role in his life. “In no other time are kids more involved in cooking than now. It’s fun for them to see celebrities on TV cook for them,” Tila says.

Tila enforces one method in his home: “If you like to eat it, you have to learn to make it.” For him, it’s a win-win. It teaches his daughter how to create something for herself and it gives Tila time to spend with her. With anything from pancakes to ice cream, his daughter might not even want to mention what she likes anymore, because she knows her dad will teach her how to cook it. Out of 21 meals a week, they make at least seven together. That’s some quality bonding time. Tila hopes to inspire other kids to cook with their own parents.

Tila recently visited Jax’s own The Bolles School to interact with kids and demonstrate an easy dish they can make at home. He explained he learned how to cook from his grandma. He began by slicing a pineapple in half and scooping out the inside to create a pineapple bowl the meal would be served in. Right off the bat the kids were enamored.IMG_7362

He cut vegetables and threw out some fancy names like “batonnet,” “julienne” and “brunoise,” names for the size of cuts he demonstrated. The kids repeated these but had a difficult time recalling the names later. To be fair, they are difficult to pronounce.

After gathering the ingredients, cutting the vegetables and preparing the rice, it was time to make some Chef Jet pineapple fried rice. Follow these instructions to make it at home with your kids:

  1. Turn the pan to a medium-high heat.
  2. Coat the bottom of the pan with vegetable oil.
  3. Crack 3-4 eggs in pan and break up, letting eggs start to cook slightly.
  4. Add pre-cooked 1-2 cups rice to pan, press rice into eggs.
  5. Add pinches of ginger, pepper, salt, and garlic powder to mixture.
  6. Add in shrimp + bacon + any other protein you may want.
  7. Add in vegetables + pineapple.
  8. Finish with soy sauce to taste.

After the food is cooked, Jet emphasized the chef must taste the food before it is served. Then, use necessary and relevant garnishes to enhance the visual appeal. Finally, serve with a smile. IMG_7387

Tila works with FLIK Dining, which manages the food service provided at all Bolles schools. Learn more about Jet Tila.