Chef Jet Tila, non-profit Restaurants Care, and food-tech leader Jennifer Stojkovic will join a list of prestigious icons when they are recognized at the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo, August 28-30 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Torch Award will be presented to Jet Tila, internationally celebrated chef, Emmy and James Beard nominee and best-selling author. The Humanitarian Spotlight Award will be presented to Restaurants Care, a non-profit that provides financial relief year-round to food + beverage workers across California. The Beacon Award will be presented to Jennifer Stojkovic, founder of Vegan Women Summit (VWS) and author of The Future of Food is Female.
Jet joins a list of prestigious past Torch Award winners, including Chef Marcus Samuelsson, Chef Roy Choi, American Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, CEO Danny Meyer, Chef Curtis Stone, Restaurant Owner Drew Nieporent, Chef Thomas Keller, Chef Norman Van Aken, and others. The Humanitarian Spotlight Award was created in 2022 and Restaurants Care joins philanthropist Nate Mook, CEO of World Central Kitchen (WCK) who was honored in March at the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York. Jennifer joins past Beacon Award winners including Jilly Stephens, CEO, City Harvest; Kelly Valade, President, Chili’s Grill & Bar; Sara Moulton, Chef, Cookbook Author and TV Personality; and many others.
“We congratulate these three leaders and look forward to honoring them with our prestigious awards. Each of the award winners has had a significant and positive impact on our industry we invite our attendees to make plans to join us at Center Stage to hear their remarkable stories,” said Rita Ugianskis, Vice President, Clarion Events Food & Beverage Group. “In addition to the Torch, Humanitarian Spotlight and Beacon Award presentations will also be featuring a keynote discussion with NBA Veteran Scottie Pippen and Napa Wine Legend Dave Phinney, as well as several culinary demonstrations, and cooking and beverage competitions.”
The Torch Award honors talented chefs and/or restaurateurs for the brilliance of their careers and the impact they have had on the industry and their surrounding community. From battling the legendary Masaharu Morimoto on Iron Chef America, opening Encore Hotel in Las Vegas and guiding Anthony Bourdain through many markets and restaurants, Chef Jet Tila grew up in the first family of Thai food and then later attending both French and Japanese culinary schools, Jet is a born educator and storyteller. Jet was appointed as the inaugural Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine by the Royal Thai Consulate, the first-ever chef to represent his country’s culture and cuisine. Chef Jet’s culinary operations includes VP Culinary of Pei Wei Group 148 restaurants & Managing Partner Dragon Tiger Noodle Co in Las Vegas. He has partnerships with Compass Group, Schwan’s & NBC Universal/DreamWorks. His food reaches millions of people a year. The Torch Award will be presented on Sunday, August 28 at 12:30 pm on Center Stage. Following the presentation, Chef Jet will do a culinary demonstration and sign copies of his new book 101 Thai Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die. For information on the Torch Award, click here.