The celebrated host of over 3,500 cooking shows, broadcast worldwide, Martin Yan enjoys distinction as a certified Master Chef, a highly respected food consultant, a cooking instructor and a prolific author. His diverse talents have found expression in 30 cookbooks, including the award-winning Martin Yan’s Feast, Martin Yan’s Asian Favorites, Chinese Cooking for Dummies, Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking (intro by Julia Child), Martin Yan’s Quick & Easy, and his latest, Martin Yan’s China (a cookbook that documents his travels throughout the far reaches of China, and his culinary discoveries).
Born in Guangzhou, China, to a restaurateur father and a mother who operated a grocery store, Chef Yan possessed a passion for cooking at an early age. His formal induction into the culinary world began at age thirteen, with an apprenticeship at a popular Hong Kong restaurant. He refined his natural talent at the Overseas Institute of Cookery in Hong Kong, and then pursued an MS in Food Science at The University of California - Davis in the US. He discovered a flair for teaching when he became an instructor in the university’s extension program. In 1978, he pioneered a daily TV Chinese cooking show: the now classic “Yan Can Cook.” Infusing lessons with his characteristic warmth, humor and vitality, he quickly won a devoted following. He developed the show’s format into a culinary travelogue, featuring culinary hot spots throughout Asia.
A valued instructor at top culinary institutions, Chef Yan has taught at The Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales University, The California Culinary Academy and The Chinese Cuisine Institute in Hong Kong. In 1985, he founded the Yan Can Cooking School in California. Also a restaurateur, his Yan Can and Yan Can Cook Beijing Restaurants offer inventive pan-Asian menus. In 2013, Chef Yan brings Chinese culinary tradition and culture to light via an authentic, modern dining experience with his new restaurant, M.Y. China, in San Francisco.
The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Chef Yan is internationally recognized as an accomplished chef among his peers. He has also captured the attention, admiration and hearts of millions of fans by spicing his cooking artistry and teaching with a personal ingredient: wit. Via television or in person, a session with Chef Yan proves invigorating as well as educational. Dedicated to dispelling the mysteries of Asian cooking, Yan furthers an understanding of these excellent cuisines, and the cultures that created them, with spirited lessons, fun and entertainment.