Monday, Apr 04, 2022
• Jeff Carlton :

Food Network chef Jet Tila is coming to The University of Texas at Arlington to create a special barbecue pop-up stand and free interactive teaching kitchens.

Chef Jet Tila poses for picture

Tila’s Thai fusion barbecue pop-up will be on the Central Library Mall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 5. The teaching kitchens will be at Connection Café in the University Center. The UTA visit came through a collaboration with the UTA Maverick Dining team, which is managed by Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services.

“This is such a great opportunity for our residents and students to meet and interact with a Food Network star chef right here on our campus,” said Mari Duncan, UT Arlington director of residence life. “It will be a memory they will have for years to come.”

Stephanie Edgett, assistant director for contract management at UT Arlington, said, “It’s really exciting to have Chef Jet partnering with Maverick Dining to bring a unique and exclusive experience to our students and campus.”

Tila will bring Thai fusion to Tre’s BBQ, a pop-up stand created by the Maverick Dining culinary team that is named after Maverick Dining chef Austin “Tre” Banks. The pop-up concept launched in March 2021 and has continued to gain popularity on campus. The menu includes Texas-style BBQ staples all made in-house.

The campus visit, sponsored by Pepsi, will give the UT Arlington and greater Dallas-Fort Worth communities the experience of meeting and enjoying food created by a Food Network celebrity chef. Those who participate in the teaching kitchens will learn from and cook alongside Tila. Signed copies of his latest cookbook will be available to continue the cooking experience at home.

“Our team’s focus is to constantly provide innovation that our students and guests can truly taste,” said Sean Armstrong, resident district manager with Maverick Dining. “Our unique partnership with Chef Jet is such a benefit for Maverick Country. We are excited to welcome him to Connection Café and Tre’s BBQ!”

– Written by Megan Hein, Chartwells Higher Education

About Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services

Chartwells is the recognized leader in contract food service management, hospitality and award-winning guest service within over 300 college and university dining environments throughout academic institutions across the U.S. Chartwells’ nutritious cuisine not only satisfies the unique appetites, lifestyles and dietary needs of every guest dining on campus, but it also brings people together to promote the high-intensity relationships that will prepare students for the future. For more information, visit,,

About Chef Jet Tila

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 attended both French and Japanese culinary schools. Chef Jet’s culinary operations includes VP Culinary of Pei Wei Group’s 148 restaurants and managing partner of Dragon Tiger Noodle Co in Las Vegas. He has partnerships with Compass Group, Schwan’s and 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.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

With more than 48,000 students, The University of Texas at Arlington is the fourth-largest institution in Texas and one of 137 universities nationwide to receive the R-1: Doctoral Universities—Very High Research Activity designation by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. In 2021, UTA received the Texas Tier One designation reserved for the state’s top institutions for academic and research excellence. The University has 19 National Academy of Inventors fellows, the most of any institution in Texas. UTA ranks No. 1 nationally in the Military Times annual “Best for Vets: Colleges” list, is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution and has approximately 250,000 alumni making an impact across Texas and beyond.