A legendary television icon and host of over 3,000 cooking shows around the world, Martin Yan is a Master Chef, a highly respected food consultant and chef instructor, a prolific cookbook author with a library of 30 titles, among which are the award-winning Martin Yan’s Feast, Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking (with intro by Julia Child), Martin Yan’s Quick & Easy, and Martin Yan’s China.
Born in Guangzhou, China, from a restaurant and grocery family, Chef Yan acquired a passion for cooking at an early age as a young apprentice in a popular restaurant in Hong Kong. He honed his skills further at the Overseas Institute of Cookery in Hong Kong and later received a Master Degree of Food Science at the University of California, Davis in the U.S., where he also discovered a flair for teaching as a chef-instructor in the university’s extension program. In 1978, he launched the now classic Yan Can Cook series, infusing cooking lessons with his brand of humor and skill.
For four decades the Yan Can Cook show has been broadcast on public television in the U.S. Generations of audiences have grown up watching his shows and learning the joy and wonders of Chinese and Asian cuisines. In the past decade, Chef Yan has filmed his popular series in other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Korea and Thailand. Yan Can Cook: Spice Kingdom, a 13-part series based in Chengdu, China, has just made its debut on public television in the U.S. This will be followed by Taste of Malaysia with Martin Yan, a 13-part series produced on location throughout Malaysia, and another 13-part series of Korea Food Alive.
Teaching remains close and dear to the heart of Chef Yan. He is a popular guest instructor at many top culinary institutions around the world such as The Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales University, and Le Cordon Bleu Schools.
Chef Yan is also a prolific restaurateur. One of his restaurant projects, M.Y. China in the San Francisco Bay Area, offers a gourmand experience.
As a professional food consultant and promoter, Chef Yan is a popular culinary ambassador for many major food and hospitality companies. His list of industry-leading clients includes the Compass Group, Caesar’s Entertainment Group and City of Dreams- Macau and his corporate sponsors include General Electric, Meyer Corporation, Lee Kum Kee and Kikkoman.
Chef Yan is the recipient of numerous national and international awards and honors from notable institutions which include: The James Beard Foundation Awards, The Antonin Careme Medal, The American Culinary Federation and the American Academy of Chefs.
Founder and Chef Partner: M.Y. China, Yan Can Cook Beijing, Yan Can and SensAsian Restaurant Group Yan Can International Cooking School (founded 1985) Founder, Principle Chef Instructor (founded 2008)
Martin Yan’s Culinary Arts Center, China
Host & Guest Chef of TV Program Yan Can Cook: Spice Kingdom (2018) Taste of Malaysia with Martin Yan (2018) Martin Yan’s Korea Food Alive (2018) Martin Yan’s New Year Special – Malaysia (2017) Martin Yan’s Asian Favorites (2016 – 2017) Martin Yan’s Taste of Malaysia (2015-2016) Martin Yan’s Taste of Vietnam (2012-2015) Martin Yan True Passion (2012) Martin Yan Home Kitchen with HK iCable (2012) Martin Yan’s China (2007–2008) Martin Yan’s Hidden China (2006–2007) Martin Yan’s Hong Kong Culinary Adventures (2006) Martin Yan’s Gourmet Kitchen (2006) Everyday Cooking in Vietnam (2003 – 2004) National Public Television’s Yan Can Cook Show (1978 – Present) Yan Can Cook – China (Mandarin) (1996 – 1999) Martin Yan’s Chinese Cooking Series in Singapore (1996 – 1998) Martin Yan’s Sizzling Wok – Chinese cooking show (1995 – 1998) Culinary Journey Thorough China (1994) Well Season Wok (1993) Everybody’s Woking (1991) A Wok for All Seasons (1988) Yan Can (1978-1980)
Special Guest Chef:
Iron Chef, Top Chef, Master Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, Check Please, Rick Stien Show (BBC)
Distinguished Visiting Chef: Culinary School Johnson & Wales University (1994 – Present) The Culinary Institute of America (1978 – Present) California Culinary Academy (1978 – Present) College of Culinary Arts, Sullivan University (2004) College of Culinary Arts (1994 – Present)
Food Culinary Consultant
Air Asia (2016-2017), United Airlines (1988 – 2000) Compass Group (2013-Present)
Certified Grand Master of Chinese Cuisine (2006 – Present) Certified Chinese Masters Chef Ontario Restaurant Association (1984) Master’s Degree, Food Science University of California, Davis (1975) Diploma Overseas Institute of Cookery, Hong Kong (1967)
Advisor Shenzhen Grand Master Chef Association (2014-2017) Ambassador of Cantonese Cuisine (2014-2017) Culinary Advisor, BBC Good Food Magazine (2014) Culinary Advisor, Xin Flavours Magazine (2014) Honorary Advisor, Vigor Catering Development (Int’l) Group (2014) Ambassador of @China, CCTV (China Central Television) (2013) Ambassador and Culinary Advisor, Confucius Institute (2013) Advisory Professor, East China Normal University (2013) Honorary Board Menber, Robert Mondavi Institute, University of Ca. at Davis (2013) Hospitality & Tourism Advisory Councill, San Francisco State University (2012) Gourmet Advisor – Poultry Gourmet Cultural Festival, China (2010) Beijing Normal University Hong Kong Baptist University (2009) Organization of Chinese Americans, Inc. (2007) Copia – American Center for Food & Wine (2003) Chinese Cuisine Training Institute – Hong Kong (2002) World Bank Group & The Int’l Monetary Fund – Hong Kong (1997- Present) Advisory Board, Assn. of Chinese Cooking Teachers (1988 – Present) Honorary Professor Doctor Gourmet del Centro de la Educacion San Gabriel (2014) Beijing DeTao Masters Academy (2012) Jinan University – Guangzhou, China (2008) Hong Kong Chinese University (2008) Doctor of Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales Univeristy (1995) Guest Speaker Adjunct Professor, Macau University of Science and Technology (2016 – Present) 20th Annual AmCham U.S. Independence Day Celebration & Family Picnic (2014) Guest Speaker at AARP Life@50+ National Event (2013) Guest Speaker at KIN Global (2013) Chinese Hospital Annual Golf Tournament Auction Donor (2012) Escoffier Society Ambassador (Asia-Pacific) (2012) Committee of The Int’l Exchange Assn. of Renowned Chinese Cuisine Chefs (2012) Honorary Chairman, Int’l Hospitality Grand Master-Les Amis d’ Escoffier Society (2010) Guest Speaker at the Culinary Arts Museum (2008) Culinary Art Master Club (2008) Commencement Speaker: College of Agriculture, University of Ca., Davis (2004, 2008) Membership Hospitality & Tourism Management Advisory Council – S.F. State University (2013) Department of Food Science & Nutrition – San Jose State University (1995- Present) Association of Chinese Cooking Teachers (1988 – Present) Chef’s Association of the Pacific Coast San Francisco Professional Food Society (1985 – Present) American Institute of Wine and Food Institute of Food Technologists (1985 – Present) American Culinary Federation (1982 – Present) International Association of Culinary Professionals (1980 – Present) American Author’s Guild Honorary Member: Les Disciples D’Auguste Escoffier, Asia (1993)
Martin Yan’s Taste of Nostalgia HK MingBao HK (2016)
Martin Yan’s China Chronicle Books (2007)
Martin Yan’s Quick & Easy Chronicle Books (2004)
Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking William Morrow (2002)
Martin Yan’s Asian Favorites Ten Speed Press (2001)
Chinese Cooking for Dummies Wiley (2000)
Martin Yan’s Invitation to Chinese Cooking Pavilion (1999)
Martin Yan’s Cooking at Home Wan Li Book Co., Ltd (1999)
Martin Yan’s Entertainment at Home Wan Li Book Co., Ltd (1999)
Martin Yan’s Feast Bay Books (1998)
Martin Yan’s Asia KQED Books & Tapes (1997)
Martin Yan’s Culinary Journey Through China KQED Books & Tapes (1995)
A Simple Guide to Chinese Ingredients Yan Can Cook, Inc. (1994)
The Well-Seasoned Wok Harlow & Ratner (1992)
Everybody’s Wokking Harlow & Ratner (1991)
A Wok for all Seasons Doubleday (1988)
Martin Yan, The Chinese Chef Doubleday (1985)
The Joy of Wokking Doubleday (1982)
The Yan Can Cookbook Doubleday (1981)
HONORS & AWARDS
Center for the Promotion of Sichuan Cuisine (2016-2017) Hall of Frame of Chinese Model (2014) The Expert Committee President – Int’l Exchange Asso. of Renowned Chinese Cuisine Chef (2014) Honorary President – Shenzhen Restaurant & Chef Association (2014) Chinese Cultural Icon of the Year, CCTV China (2013) Distinguished Achievement Award, UC Davis Alumni Association (2013) Outstanding Chinese Award – Global (China Central Government & CCTV) (2012) Ambassador of Chinese Cuisine (2012) Valuable Contribution Award: World Association of Chinese Cuisine (2011) Lifetime Achievement Award: IACP – The International Association of Culinary Professionals (2011) Excellence in Culinary Arts/Professional Achievement – Int’l Food & Travel Writers Associ. (2011) Influential Personalities in the Rest. Industry: Chinese Rest. News – Top 100 Chinese Rest. (2010) Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry – China Hotel Association (2010) Pioneer in Culinology Award (2009) Lifetime Achievement Award, Chinese Restaurant News (2009) Master of Aesthetics of Gastronomy – The Culinary Institute of America (2008) Nominee: The James Beard Award, Best Television Food Show Segment (2006) Chef of the Year, Sustainable Foods Campaign (2004) Hall of Fame, Menu Masters, Nation’s Restaurant News (2004) Chinese Cuisine Ambassador – East Eat Culinary Academy (2005) Fellow: American Culinary Federation (2004) Outstanding Overseas Chinese Award, Citation California State Assembly (2004) Nominee: The James Beard Award, Best National TV Cooking Show (2004) Telly Awards: Martin Yan’s Chinatown (2004) California Chef of the Year, California Tourism Industry (2002) Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking – Newsweek’s “The Year’s 10 Best Cookbooks” (2002) Inductee: The James Beard Award, Who’s Who of Food And Beverage (2001) Winner: World Cookbook Fair Awards, Chinese Cooking for Dummies (2000) Finalist: Best Television Food Show Food Media Awards – Australia (1999) Winner: World Cookbook Fair Awards, Martin Yan’s Feast (1999) Finalist: World Food Media Awards, Best Television Food Show – Australia (1999) Winner: Daytime Emmy Award, Outstanding Achievement in Photography (1998) Nominee: The James Beard Award, Best National Cooking Show (1998) College Award of Distinction, UC Davis (1997) Winner: The James Beard Award, Best TV Food Journalism (1996) The James Beard Award, Best TV Cooking Show (1994)