Food Network star Jet Tila is facing a lawsuit from a young girl’s parents who claim his dog violently attacked their preschooler. The parents claim Tila’s Belgian Malinois, named Halo, bit their daughter, leaving her permanently disfigured. Tila, 46, has appeared on several Food Network shows during his career, including Beat Bobby Flay, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and Cutthroat Kitchen.
The parents claim Tila rented a playground at the preschool attended by both their daughter and Tila’s son, Ren, for an event the day after Christmas, according to the lawsuit obtained by TMZ. Halo was originally leashed to a table, but Tila’s wife Allison “chose to relinquish personal control” of Halo, the parents claim. At that point, their daughter “gently” went up to the dog. It snapped, started barking, and attacked.
The dog allegedly bit their daughter’s face, leaving her with a cut on her nose. She was rushed to a nearby emergency room and claim her face is “permanently” disfigured. They claimed Tila knew his dog could be “aggressive, vicious, and excessively dangerous.” TMZ also published a graphic photo of the girl’s injury. Tila has not commented on the allegations.
Tila was born in Los Angeles to Thai Chinese parents. Tila’s television credits include Home & Family, Guy’s Grocery Games, Today, Tournament of Champions, The Talk, Beat Bobby Flay, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Iron Chef America: The Series, Cutthroat Kitchen, Rachael Ray, and Chopped. He has two children with his wife Allison, daughter Amaya and son Ren.
The celebrity chef is also the first Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine, a title he received from the Royal Thai Consul-General. He also received the Dream of Los Angeles Award. Tila also wrote the book 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die: Discover a New World of Flavors in Authentic Recipes. His newest project is a Las Vegas location of the Dragon Tiger Noodle Co. restaurant. Tila will attend the grand opening on Wednesday.
“As a kid, I spent time learning the ancient traditions of Asian cuisine from my Cantonese grandmother,” Tila told The Snack of his interest in cooking. “She was my first cooking instructor. I have these flavor and sense memories that go back 40 years and inspire me to always look for that authentic experience that I remember growing up. Food is about learning the old ways, listening to the stories they tell you, then shaping them into art for all the senses.”