Jet Tila’s Iron Chef America viewing party at Insert Coins Sunday night provided a nice, if poignant piece of punctuation to the ending of his praiseworthy pursuits and presence in these parts.
It demonstrated the skills that brought him to his post at Wazuzu three years ago, and highlighted why we mourn his leaving. True, we always found the food at Wazuzu to be over-priced, but there was no doubting the passion behind it….just as there was never any doubting his personable-ness and perspicacity in perceiving the pristine and the pungent…in Asian food anyway.
In other words, Tila was one of the good ones. Between his personality, his cooking and his writing, he created a persona and quite a following during his short tenure here, and our food scene will be an emptier, slightly sadder place without him.
BTW: He lost Battle Seaweed to Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, by a scant two points, in front of a large and boisterous crowd of well-wishers. Impossible as it is to say how anything tasted, Jet’s dishes clearly looked better on the plate…yet he and the Iron Chef’s scores were identical for presentation. Regardless, he acquitted himself well, provided another welcomed piece of publicity for Las Vegas and proved he knows how to throw one hell of a party.
ลาก่อน สวัสดี (“la-kawn sawatdee”= farewell) Jet Tilakamonkul.
Las Vegas will miss you.