The Torch Award


We are honored and excited to announce...
Jet Tila as the 2022 Torch Award Recipient! 

The word Torch symbolizes many things including Illumination, Energy, Joy, Victory, Enlightenment, Hope and Education.

The Torch Award, presented by The Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo and The California Restaurant Association was created to honor outstanding chefs and/or restaurateurs who embody all those qualities and characteristics. These chefs and/or restaurateurs have been chosen because of:  Outstanding knowledge and leadership; Philanthropic and community efforts; Extraordinary talent and creativity; Innovation and inspiration. Each has provided outstandingly to our industry. 


Join us at Center Stage as Jet Tila, Chef, Author, receives the Torch Award. The presentation of the Torch Award will follow with Chef Jet doing a culinary demonstration and signing copies of his new book 101 Thai Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die.


About Jet Tila

About Jet Tila

Chef, Author, TV Personality

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 is internationally celebrated for his culinary expertise. This Emmy, James Beard nominee and best-selling author 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.
He appears as co-host of Iron Chef America and recurring judge on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen, Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay and Guy’s Grocery Games. As well as an array of shows ranging from the Today, MasterChef, Rachel Ray and holds six culinary Guinness World Records.


Roy Choi
Chef, Entrepreneur, Best-Selling Author, TV Host 

Evan Kleinman
Chef, Author, Radio Host, and Restaurateur

Geoffrey Zakarian American Iron Chef,
Restaurateur, Television Personality, and Author


Caroline Styne, Sommelier & Restaurateur,
The Lucques Group 

Allen Susser, Chef/Owner,
Chef Allen's Consulting 

Danny Meyer, CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group;
Founder, Shake Shack

Curtis Stone, Chef/Owner,
Maude & Gwen

Michelle Bernstein, Chef/Owner, Crumb on Parchment
& Michelle Bernstein Catering 

Drew Nieporent, Owner,
Myriad Restaurant Group 

Thomas Keller, Chef & Proprietor,
The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group 

Melissa Kelly, Executive Chef &
Proprietor, Primo

Mary Sue Milliken, Co-Chef-Owner, 
Border Grill Restaurants + Truck

Susan Feniger, Co-Chef-Owner,
Border Grill Restaurants + Truck

Norman Van Aken, Chef-Owner,
Norman's at the Ritz Carlton, Grande Lakes