Story and video by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News
Celebrity chef Chef Jet Tila spent the day at three AAPS schools cooking, teaching, and talking to hundreds of students.
Tila, who lives in Los Angeles, is a long-time partner of Chartwells K12 School Dining Services, which partners with AAPS to offer nutritious meals to students every school day.
““I think it’s important to visit schools for a few reasons,” said Tila, taking a quick break from talking to Pioneer students and posing for pictures with them. “To engage with the students, show them that my partnership with Chartwells is creating real food. We cook from scratch every single day. And it’s also fun. Like no other time in the world, our kids are engaged and look at chefs like celebrities.”
His visit was part of Chartwells’ commitment to bringing innovative programs to the dining program, said Tiffany Houston, director of food services for AAPS.
“Just like Chartwells, he’s committed to changing the way a generation thinks about food and loves visiting schools to inspire students of all ages,” she says. “We know that kids today are smarter and savvier than ever before about what they eat. “As they look for greater variety of foods and flavors, Chef Jet helps us create engaging, entertaining and educational opportunities for students to learn more about where their food comes from and techniques used to cook them.”
She said Chartwells collaborates with him on recipes and educational activities and experiences.
“We hope students will be even more inspired to try new foods,” says Houston, “and have a new appreciation and awareness for different global flavors, along with the Ann Arbor Public Schools’ culinary program and meals served in schools.”