April 30, 2011
Born in Guangzhou, China, to a restaurateur father and a mother who operated a grocery store, Martin 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.