This winter, Jet Tila opens Wazuzu at Encore, the new signature resort in the Wynn collection. A Los Angeles native, Tila grew up cooking with his Chinese–Thai grandmother, learning many of the ancient traditions of classical Asian cuisine. His father founded Bangkok Market, the nation’s first Thai grocery and import company, followed by the Royal Thai Cuisine Restaurant chain, which his family still owns today. In his early teens, he worked at his family’s restaurants and markets, expanding his culinary knowledge.
At the age of 22, Tila made a name for himself in the Los Angeles food community by teaching cooking classes in his backyard, which caught the attention of the Los Angeles Times and put Tila on the cover of its food section. To further hone his talent, he enrolled in the California School of Culinary Art and later completed an intensive study program at the California Sushi Academy. His education and extensive knowledge of Asian gastronomy has given him a wide range of ideas to draw upon and a broad framework to create innovative Asian cuisine. He has worked in various restaurant settings, from fine dining at Grace Restaurant to the hip and trendy Hungry Cat. He has been a feature chef for the Hass Avocado Board, The Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board and Zespri (New Zealand) kiwi fruit. He also serves as the Asian food consultant to the Bon Appetit Management Company.