Josh Kopel | Award Winning Restaurant Consultant

Restaurant Funding: Chef Jet Tila’s Celebrity Rise

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Is it really true that any executive chef could become the next Chef Jet Tila? 

Do you have to be born with a special sprinkle of entrepreneurial fairy dust to reach those kinds of heights?


Growing up in a hustle household, you would think that Chef Tila was bound for greatness right from the beginning. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.


He climbed to the top with dedication, a networking spirit, and surprisingly simple, practical strategies that any aspiring chef could start today. Yes, you could literally act on these to-day! 

Here are three actionable steps Tila took to go from working-class troublemaker to celebrity chef status.

Jet of All Trades

We talk about diversification in business but seasoned entrepreneurs know this starts with diversifying ourselves. In this new decade, to get to celebrity chef level, Tila shows us we need to know more than just how to make the perfect sous vide steak. We need several tricks up those white sleeves. 


“One of my first jobs at culinary school was writing for their Daily Times. So I learned how to write. I would contact editors and say “how many words do you need? I will write it for you.” says Tila. That extra skill of having been a culinary journalist in school meant he could write his own stories; literally spinning his own narrative.


As an entrepreneur, it is important to me to consistently improve my abilities. Fortunately, it has never been easier to hone our skills. From online writing classes to virtual communities focused on networking, we have the power to change our own lives and, one day, become a recognizable brand.

Creating a Buzz

Chef Jet Tila did not wait for publications and producers to come knocking on his door. He decided to contact them directly to stake his claim in the hospitality industry. 


With a little persistence, he showed how easy it is to pitch your own stories. His secret was to start where he was at, rather than chasing huge publications. Tila contacted local editors of  “Best Restaurant” lists to get press for his restaurant, and by extension, press for him too.


“Every time you do an interview, you specifically need to tell them to place your name next to the restaurant” advises Tila, “The more your name is mentioned, the easier it is to rise up the ranks.” 

Seeking Mighty Mentors

Now, finding a mentor may not be “simple” per se but bear with me. Though we would all love to have Bobby Fray as a mentor like Chef Tila, mentors are all around you and found in unlikely places.

Chef Tila cites more than just the physical mentors in his life but also the ones he has never met. Via business books and online gurus, he absorbed valuable teachings from influencers in the entrepreneurial space. I myself often listen to podcasts, read books, and confide in my network of amazing restaurateurs to inspire me. Mentorship is all around us.

What Chef Jet Tila managed to create is aspirational but also totally accessible, in a way. He used determination, grit, and teachings from inspirational industry leaders to catapult his career. Folks like Jet inspire me to make small actions today for a brighter career tomorrow.

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