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Video: KVAL – Celebrity Chef visits OSU for Lunar New Year  February 11th, 2013

View the video at the source: KVAL TV, Feb. 8, 2013.


CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Lunar New Year, known to many as the Chinese New Year, is fast approaching.

Oregon State University is celebrating with food.  To help make the meal just a little more special they brought in celebrity chef Jet Tila.

Chef Jet Tila has made several appearances on Food Network shows like Chopped, and he’s worked with big names like Anthony Bourdain.  However, all they had to do to get this high caliber chef to Corvallis was ask.

“It’s nice to be the token Chinese Asian guy, and fly around the country and talk about Asian food,” says Chef Tila, “But no, seriously, this is the biggest … I wouldn’t say holiday, but biggest day of remembrance for all Chinese people around the world. The Lunar New Year is a way for me to teach people about Asian Cuisine, and food is the most non political/confrontational way to teach people about culture.”

And for this chef, whether it is Corvallis or anywhere, being able to use his celebrity status to share culture through cuisine is the ultimate.

“It’s amazing that people would want to come out and say hello,” Says Chef Tila. “And if celebrity is helping educate people then that is one of the best things celebrity can do for anyone.”

Corvallis Gazette-Times: Chef Tila chases the ‘yum’  February 11th, 2013

[Corvallis Gazette-Times, Feb. 11, 2013] — Jet Tila of TV’s Food Network visits OSU and shares some stir-fry tips

The chef transferred the finished product — Chinese fried rice — from the wok to a bowl made from a pineapple shell.

“Does that look sexy?” he asked the audience. “Food must look sexy!”

Chef and Food Network television personality Jet Tila offered tips in Asian cooking and cracked jokes during an interactive demonstration Thursday at Oregon State University’s Marketplace West Dining Center. Tila shared his expertise and recipes with hundreds of people during the lunch and dinner hours as part of OSU’s celebration of the first day of the lunar calendar.

After fried rice, he began preparing spicy maple pork, a Thai dish.

“We’re going from China to Thailand in a snap,” he said.

While cooking in a temporary kitchen on a raised platform, Tila chattered about the proper cooking oil to use, techniques in chopping vegetables and the do’s and don’ts of Asian cooking.

Anyone can make good stir fry, Tila said, but there are certain rules they should follow.

“First rule of stir fry is this … everything in its place,” he said. “All that means in the culinary world is, get everything prepped and ready to go.”

Tila cut up the vegetables, including the ends of the bell pepper.

“I waste nothing because my grandmother would slap me on the hand,” he said.

He said the best investment any chef can make is one multiuse knife.

“I’m not a knife Madonna,” he said. “You just need one darn good chef’s knife.”

High-temperature, low-flavor oils are best for cooking in a wok, he said, and there is one hard and fast rule in Chinese cooking.

Read the full article by GT reporter Canda Fuqua. Photos by Jesse Skoubo.

Daily Barometer: Chef brings a taste of China to West  February 11th, 2013

[Daily Barometer — Feb. 8, 2013] — Before last night, celebrity chef Jet Tila had only been to Oregon twice.

“All I knew about this area is that you make good Pinot,” Tila said, preparing a demonstration on how to cook stir fry “like an expert.”

In an effort to liven up cultural dinners on campus, Jay Perry, Chef de Cuisine at the Marketplace West dining center, asked Tila to prepare traditional Thai and Chinese food. Tila was happy to come to Corvallis.

“I expected more knit caps and hacky sacks,” Tila said. “It’s all wet and cold. I’ve never been in a land of such green.”

Tila is was born and raised in Los Angeles. Tila grew up in his father’s Thai restaurant and with his grandmother’s traditional Chinese cooking. With these inspirations, he helped cook and serve lunch and dinner to a total of 652 Oregon State students, staff and the Corvallis community.

Working in the concept Ring of Fire, Tila had the opportunity to teach and cook side-by-side with Marketplace West employees.

“Working with [Tila] was fun,” said Majed Abdelras, a sophomore in business management.

“It would have been really stressful,” said Shayna Haack, a sophomore in human development and education. “But he was making jokes the whole time.”

Tila would step back from cooking to interact with the customers in line. He was curious to know who was eating the food and where they were from.

Read the full article on The Daily Barometer’s website.


Chef Jet to visit Oregon State on Thursday!  February 6th, 2013


Acclaimed chef and Food Network television personality Jet Tila will be headline University Housing & Dining Services’ Lunar New Year: a journey through culture and cuisine on Feb 7. Tila completed on “Iron Chef America” and is a judge on the popular show “Chopped.”  Thanks to his background and education, Tila is comfortable in multiple roles as a nationally celebrated chef and consultant, a teacher and a student in the art of food.

This celebration of the first day of the lunar calendar will take place on Thursday, Feb. 7 at Marketplace West’s Ring of Fire restaurant.  Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to1:30 p.m. and dinner will be served from 5to 7 p.m.

Chef Jet will be demonstrating his cooking technique and his recipes from 12:30 to1:15 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. with time to meet with students, OSU staff and faculty and the general public.  He will also be available for media interviews.

The menu will feature Chef Jet’s Asian Broccoli Salad with Crispy Noodles and Spicy Basil Pork.  The menu will also include Roasted Duck Leg in Mandarin Orange Sauce, Braised Beef Short Ribs in Plum Sauce, Buddha’s Feast with Tofu (vegetarian), Crispy Spring Rolls, Sweet Sticky Sesame Rice Cakes and other culinary favorites.  The meal will cost $9.

Video: Chef Jet on Vimeo.

Daily Barometer: Lunar New Year at West  January 31st, 2013

[Daily Barometer — Jan. 31, 2013] — Red decorations displayed on the village doors froze the dragon-like creature in fear. Cautiously resuming its hunt for children and livestock, the monster moved closer. Then, by beating drums, lighting firecrackers and burning candles the villagers scared the monster back into the mountains.

Fending off the mythical creature, Nian, sparked the traditions of the Chinese New Year. The 15-day event is the longest and most important event in the Chinese calendar.

In celebration of this holiday, Ring of Fire, located in Marketplace West, will serve a special menu on Thursday, Feb. 7, prepared by celebrity chef Jet Tila from Los Angeles.

Tila has appeared on Iron Chef America and the Food Network. Even with running his own restaurants in California and Nevada, and juggling various appearances on radio and television, Tila will make time to come to Oregon State University.

“It’s all because of Jay Perry,” Tila said during a phone interview.

Perry is Chef de Cuisine at Marketplace West. He met Tila two years ago at University of Massachusetts Amherst, where Tila was one of the lead chefs in the World Chef Culinary Conference.

“[Coming to OSU] is something that’s fun and offbeat,” Tila said.

University Housing and Dining Services’ “Lunar New Year: A Journey Through Culture and Cuisine” is part of a series of cultural dinners. Last year, University Housing and Dining Services held three cultural dinners featuring Mediterranean, soul food and indigenous cuisine. This year, however, Perry was looking for something “more eventful.” That’s when he emailed Tila.

“That’s why I like OSU,” said Mikalyn Martinez, a student employee at Southside Station in Arnold dining center. “Students have more access to try new things.”

Pulling from his traditional Thai and Chinese cooking background, Tila will teach and prepare lunch and dinner alongside Ring of Fire staff.

“He’s a teacher of food,” said Perry. “[Tila] will be able to teach our staff his experience in the Asian cuisine, and he’ll be able to demo that to all of us.”

From 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. and from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. Tila will demonstrate his knowledge of Asian cuisine. …

… Traditionally, the holiday is about coming together with family and the community to share food.

“It was the only holiday my family would stop and actually share it together,” Tila said. “The Chinese New Year is tradition. You get your hair cut before the new year. You pay off all your debt. It’s a time to reflect.”

Tila grew up in his father’s Thai restaurant in Los Angeles. Throughout his childhood his grandmother also exposed him to traditional Chinese cooking. With these inspirations, Tila attended Le Cordon Bleu to complete his culinary education.

“Food is the least political and confrontational way to introduce someone to culture,” said Tila. “If one student comes away with learning Chinese culture, I’ve done my job.”

Read the full article on The Daily Barometer’s website.

Read more about UHDS’ 2013 Lunar New Year event.


Take a delicious dive into Mediterranean cultures  October 24th, 2011

[Campus Living, Oct. 21, 2011] — University Housing & Dining Services will host Taste of the Mediterranean, a celebration of Mediterranean regional culture, from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, at Marketplace West Dining Center.  Dinner will be served until 7:30 p.m., with music and conversation continuing until 8 p.m.

The celebration is one of many in the journey through culture and cuisine series and is being held in conjunction with OSU’s International Education Week. The Taste of the Mediterranean will honor the cultures and foods of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.

Tickets are $8 and will be available at the door, or in advance from any of the University Housing and Dining Services dining centers.

Menu items include dolmas, hummus with pita and Baba Ganouj from local Corvallis restaurant Bazaar.  Other menu items include mussels with chorizo, Chicken Tagine with preserved lemons and olives, Lebanese Spinach with carrots, Calamari Frito, Pizza Margherita and other regional culinary favorites.