Seattle Public Schools

Chef Tila Visits South Shore

Summary: Chef Jet Tila stopped by South Shore PreK-8 and Alan T. Sugiyama High School to share with students his experience as a professional chef.

Mealtime is Gathering Time: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila Visits South Shore PreK-8 and Alan T. Sugiyama High School

You may have seen him battling the legendary Masaharu Morimoto on Iron Chef America or as a judge on one of many Food Network shows like “Cutthroat Kitchen.” James Beard and Emmy award nominee Chef Jet Tila made a special trip to Seattle to spend time chopping it up with students at South Shore PreK-8 and Alan T. Sugiyama High School (ATS). 

Chef Tila has made a name for himself as a culinary storyteller. Thanks to his diverse background and education, Tila is as comfortable as a chef and consultant as he is a teacher and student in the art of food. 

“This is the most important place to reach kids,” Tila said. “To feed them, to nurture them, and to teach them. I’m here to create some fun dishes, I’m here to tell some stories, and I’m here to show kids how important they are.” 

A young student tries new food in a South Shore classroom

Chef Tila and his team prepared mandarin orange dumplings stir-fry with fried rice for the school’s lunch. He also participated in an exotic fruit demo with kindergarten students. Later, Superintendent Brent Jones sat in on a student-led panel at ATS where the students had a food tasting of dishes they had prepared and a Q and A session. 

During his time on the panel, Superintendent Jones touted the district’s Culinary Services department and its efforts to produce culturally relevant foods. 

“We try to make sure we have everything from Asian food to East African food,” Superintendent Jones said. “We’re trying to make sure that our students feel comfortable, that they may feel the love coming from us.” 

Students and Superintendent Jones join Chef Tila at a table

After Chef Tila critiqued the student’s dishes, he imparted some words of wisdom to the students.  

“There’s going to be a thousand forks in the road for all of us … and if you make mostly the right choices, and you work hard, you can get anywhere you want.” 

Chef Tila ended the day by gifting ATS students with a signed copy of his cookbook. 

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