If your kid came home from Marysville High School hungry for vegetables, it's because of Chef Jet Tila.
The celebrity chef visited Marysville Schools on Tuesday to perform cooking demonstrations and teach students about nutrition and wellness.
"Kids have to be exposed to real food and real cooking," Tila said. "We converted someone to broccoli today."
Tila has appeared on shows such as "Cutthroat Kitchen," "Iron Chef America," "Chopped," "Guy's Grocery Games," and Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" and "Parts Unknown."
Tila's message centered around teaching kids that good-tasting, healthy food can be made without being an expert chef. He said he's noticed a pronounced interest among young people in cooking, shown by the success of shows such as MasterChef Junior and Chopped Junior.
Tila swung by Marysville's communication arts program to shoot an on-set video streamed to other schools in the district. This gave students the chance to get a sense of the program before he showed up to their buildings. From there, he went to a stage set up in Marysville High School's cafeteria.
Students coming down the stairs for lunch had the option of stopping by a Chef Tila station in the cafeteria line. There, they could pick up Thai barbecue chicken, sweet and sour pork, Hawaiian chicken fried rice, steamed carrots and rice.
Once everyone was seated, Tila took the stage to cook chicken fried rice with egg, soy sauce, ginger and garlic.
"It's a fundamental dish because it's easy and you already have ingredients at home," Tila said.
A top down camera clipped to the second floor railing looked downward on the cooking area and into the pan, displaying on a television for the room to see. Tila demonstrated how to cook without using too much oil, and explained the value of prepping ingredients during the roughly 30 minutes lunch period.
When the demonstration was done, students had enough time to take from a stack of chef's hats and grab a copy of Tila's cookbook "101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die" before heading back to class.
Marysville food director Pam Heintz said she doesn't want students to think about food service only in terms of fast food restaurants like McDonald's.
"It can be a career," Heintz said.
Tila's appearance was arranged through a partnership with Chartwells School Dining Services K-12.