Chartwells Higher Education and Celebrity Chef Jet Tila to Host the Nation’s Largest College Street Food Festival

CHARLOTTE, N.C — As part of its Joy-Ful campaign, Chartwells Higher Education, a recognized leader in contract food service management, today announced it will be hosting “Festi-Ful” – the nation’s largest street food festival taking place across 300 U.S. colleges and universities – with celebrity Chef Jet Tila on September 24, 2021.

With over 1.5 million students across the nation invited to attend, Chartwells is welcoming students back to campus in a memorable way with delicious street food, community give-back events, free swag, and more. This first of four signature Joy-Ful events will be headlined by a live-streamed cooking competition from world-renowned Chef Tila at Louisiana State University (LSU). During the event, Chef Tila will be hosting and judging LSU’s first-ever Jambalaya Showdown, in which six chefs will compete to see who can make the best jambalaya dish.

“When we were thinking about how to make the biggest, most impactful return to campus event possible, we knew Chef Jet was the perfect choice for us,” said Lisa McEuen, CEO of Chartwells Higher Education. “His world-renowned talents, global culinary flare and infectious energy make him the perfect host for the nation’s largest college street food festival, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with him.”

Whether hosted indoors or out, each campus will celebrate with international street food favorites and local specialty menus including street tacos, po’ boys, plant-based BBQ, Cuban sandwiches, and sweet fair classics like caramel apples and apple cider donuts. Each campus will follow COVID-19 safety protocols in accordance with local and federal guidelines, including masking, social distancing, and enhanced cleaning measures.

“As soon as I heard about the “Festi-Ful” event Chartwells was planning, I was all in,” said Chef Jet Tila. “It’s a great event for the students and the community. For students who didn’t get the traditional college experience last year, this is an exciting and memorable way to kick off a new year, and the extra philanthropic efforts campuses are leading makes the event even more impactful.”

To support local communities, schools will host a variety of give-back activities, including canned food drives, non-perishable goods donations and social media give-backs, all for local food banks and charities. Campuses will also host interactive experiences such as photo booths, yard games, local artists and DJs, live music, chalk artists, and more.

The live stream with Chef Tila from LSU will take place on Chartwells’ Instagram page at 11:45am CT on Friday, September 24, with the street food festivals taking place throughout the day. To learn more about the country’s largest street food festival on college campuses and Chartwells Higher Education, please visit www.chartwells higher

About Chartwells Higher Education
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 attending both French and Japanese culinary schools, Jet is a born educator and storyteller.   Jet was appointed as the inaugural Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine by the Royal Thai Consulate, the first-ever chef to represent his country’s culture and cuisine. 

Chef Jet’s culinary operations includes VP Culinary of Pei Wei Group 148 restaurants & Managing Partner Dragon Tiger Noodle Co in Las Vegas.  He has partnerships with Compass Group, Schwan’s & 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. As well as an array of shows ranging from the Today, MasterChef, Rachel Ray and holds six culinary Guinness World Records.