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Chef Martin Yan

Celebrity Chef

Chef Martin Yan has been credited with helping to forge the way for the tremendous popularity of TV chefs and cooking shows today, as well as being one of the single biggest influences in bringing Asian cuisine and culture to the American mainstream. He is dedicated to dispelling the mysteries of Chinese and Asian cooking and furthering the understanding and enjoyment of these excellent cuisines and cultures through spirited fun and entertainment.

His latest cookbook releases include the award-winning Chinese Cooking for Dummies (HungryMinds), and Martin Yan's Asian Favorites (Ten Speed Press) autographed copies available exclusively online from his official website YanCanCook.com, part of the AsianConnections.com community. His cookbooks and online recipes have a huge following of loyal fans year after year. Currently, he's busy filming for the next "Yan Can Cook" series, "Martin Yan's Chinatowns," which features dishes from Chinatowns around the world, debuting Fall 2002.

Born in Guangzhou, China, Yan always possessed a passion for cooking. However, his formal introduction to the culinary world started at age thirteen when he began his first apprenticeship for a well-established Hong Kong restaurant.

After earning his diploma from the Overseas Institute of Cookery, Hong Kong, Yan traveled to Canada and then on to the United States. Before receiving his M.S. in Food Science from the University of California, Davis, Yan taught Chinese cooking for the University of California extension program. He later began hosting the popular show "Yan Can Cook."

He has been a frequent guest chef-instructor at professional chef programs, including the California Culinary Academy, Johnson & Wales University (he served on both schools' advisory committees), the Culinary Institute of America, the University of San Francisco, and Chinese chef training programs across North America.

Martin is the founder of the Yan Can International Cooking School in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Martin has received special recognition among his peers as a master chef. He is a 2001 inductee for the James Beard Foundation's D'Artagnan Cervena Who's Who of Food and Beverage, which honors food and beverage professionals for their significant and lasting achievements.

He has also received a Daytime Emmy Award, a James Beard Award for Best TV Food Journalism, and a James Beard Award for Best TV Cooking Show. He has been honored with the prestigious Antonin Careme Award by the Chef's Association of the Pacific Coast and the Courvoisier Leadership Award by Courvoisier.

Along with Paul Prudhomme, Martin was named Culinary Diplomat for the American Culinary Federation. For his contribution to the food and hospitality industry he received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Culinary Arts, along with America's First Lady of cooking, Julia Child, from the world's leading culinary training mecca, Johnson & Wales University. He has also received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters from the Colorado Institute of Art.

Media Appearances

Yan's many guest appearances on national and international television include "The Today Show" (NBC), "The Rosie Show" (ABC), "A & E: Top Ten Television Chefs" (A&E), "Cooking Live with Sara Moulton" (Food Network), "The Tonight Show" (NBC) "Good Morning America" (ABC), "Q&A Asia" (CNN International), "Lo & Co." (CNBC Asia), "Howie Mandell Show" (ABC), "Donny & Marie Show" (ABC), and "Mornings on Two" (FOX).