The Untold Truth Of Ali Tila From Ben & Jerry's Clash Of The Cones

If you're a foodie, then by now you must be familiar with Ali Tila. She's the celebrity chef wife of celebrity chef Jet Tila, which, of course, now also makes her the spouse of the distinguished first Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine to Los Angeles (via L.A. Weekly). Tila is the partner and manager of the whole Chef Jet Tila business, which includes "restaurants in Los Angeles and Dallas, a national fast casual concept with Compass Group, and a successful culinary consulting business," via Food Network. When Tila isn't busy running her husband's impressive business empire, she is a pastry chef as well as a cookbook co-author with Jet. 

Now Tila is one of three judges on Food Network's latest "cooking" contest, "Ben & Jerry's: Clash of the Cones." Featuring the only actor who is zero degrees from Kevin Bacon, Kevin Bacon and the rapper-actor Ludacris, the show is co-judged by Charles Rivard and Ali's husband, Jet. Hosted by Molly Yeh, it premiered on August 16. 

But apart from what we know of her in connection with Jet Tila, their children — Amaya and Ren — and the business empire, what do we really know about Ali Tila?

Ali Tila facts you probably don't know

After finding ourselves thoroughly charmed by pastry chef-frozen dessert connoisseur, Ali Tila, from the very first episode of Food Network's "Ben & Jerry's: Clash of the Cones," the thought occurred to us that perhaps we did not know as much about her as we might like to, starting right from the basics such as her birthday or her maiden name. Or, even when she and Jet got married. One fact of which we were already aware, however, is that Tila's full married name is not actually "Ali Tila" but rather, "Allison Tilakmonkul."

Ali is short for Allison, and Tila is actually Jet's stage name. Jet's real last name is Tilakmonkul, a Thai name, according to a 2016 NPR profile on the Thai grocery store that Jet Tila's family has owned for decades. So, that helped in our efforts to fill in some of the blanks, including Ali's birthday, which is June 3, 1974, and the name she was born with — Allison Courtney McKee. The date of her wedding to Jet Tilakamonkul appears to have been May 9, 2011, according to a May 9, 2020, tweet by Jet in honor of the couple's ninth wedding anniversary.

Ali Tila lets her love for Jet Tila shine through on social media

Although Ali Tila tends to tweet primarily about delicious and fascinating desserts and beverages (and the occasional savory dish), when it comes right down to it, the wife and mother of two is apparently not afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve. In response to an adorable "it's our ninth anniversary" tweet by her husband, Jet Tila, on May 9, 2020, Ali Tila had the sweetest reply, which she proceeded to tweet out to Jet and the entire rest of the "Twitterverse."  "Happy Anniversary babe!" she wrote via Twitter. "I love you beyond words and even being quarantined with you is fun. Thank you for being my rock and all of our fearless leader." 

While both Celebrity Dig and Read a Biography appear to have suggested that Jet and Ali's now-decade-long marriage began with a quickie Vegas wedding, Jet and Ali's decision to marry was clearly anything but impulsive. In fact, Jet and Ali were together for at least two years before they tied the knot in 2011. "We met when I was teaching cooking classes over a decade ago," Jet told Rachael Ray in 2019, per Long Island Weekly. "We haven't stopped cooking together since."

Ali Tila was once a special education teacher

Thanks to her role as one of three judges on Food Network's new program, "Ben & Jerry's: Clash of the Cones," when you think of Ali Tila right about now, it's entirely possible that the first thing you might think of is ice cream. Or perhaps your mind goes to her husband and business partner, Jet Tila, if only because Jet is a "Clash of Cones" co-judge. But did you know that Ali Tila was once a teacher? In fact, Ali Tila worked as a special education teacher for 15 years, according to Rachael Ray

Of course, that was before Ali made her big career switch, deciding to leave teaching to go to culinary school. And when we say "big" career switch, what we mean is that it was so much more than "just" a career switch. Ali's decision to pursue an interest in the culinary arts appears to have been what brought her into Jet's world in the first place. It's entirely possible that the two never would have met if it weren't for the fact that Jet was teaching cooking, and Ali was a student. In any event, Ali and Jet view one another as both cooks and educators. And that was what inspired the couple's second cookbook, 2019's "101 Epic Dishes: Recipes That Teach You How to Make the Classics Even More Delicious."

How Ali Tila and Jet Tila inspired one another to co-author a cookbook

As noted above, Ali Tila is the co-author of a cookbook with her husband called "101 Epic Dishes: Recipes That Teach You How to Make the Classics Even More Delicious" (via Rachael Ray). The collaboration was the natural result of "cooking on social media" together for years, Jet told Long Island Weekly. "Fans asked for a book," and so, apparently, that inspired Ali and Jet to do just that. Ali brought with her "15 years of pastry and teaching experience," and Jet brought with him, not only his vast body of culinary knowledge and experience, but also a talent for seeing the "big picture." 

"Writing a cookbook together was just another great opportunity for them to combine their skills and enjoy yet another experience that comes with their partnership," Long Island Weekly concluded of the happy partners in life and business. "We work really well together, we have complementary skill sets," said Ali. "Jet is great at the big picture vision, and I'm more detail-oriented. Writing a cookbook is a challenge for sure, but I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I'm passionate about with my best friend. It's a win-win for me." And they're doing it again as the two are collaborating on another cookbook, "101 Thai Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die," which is set to publish in January 2022 (via SoCal Restaurant Show).

How devoted mom, Ali Tila, likes to spend her time off on the weekends

Ali Tila is an educator, a pastry chef, a Food Network cooking competition judge, and a business manager. But let's not forget that she is also a devoted mom, homemaker, and wife — one who makes sweet treats for her family and posts photos on social media of them with captions like, "Coming into the weekend with some pillow-y cinnamon rolls and as much frosting as I can handle." Apparently, Team Tila was thoroughly entranced (via Twitter). 

Besides spending time baking delicious treats, Tila also likes to round up her husband and kids for a trip to the farmers market on weekends, according to Rachael Ray. Of course, the Tila family also likes to visit the produce at their local grocery story just about any weeknight. "Amaya likes to touch and smell things," according to Jet. "And Ren wants to hold everything."