DAVIS (CBS13) — As we celebrate the Chinese New Year, we take a closer look at internationally acclaimed Chef Martin Yan, who came to the U.S with a love of cooking and the will to educate people about it.
He will give future generations a taste of this cuisine by way of a donation to the UC Davis library.READ MORE: Stagg High Stabbing Suspect Anthony Gray Ordered To Undergo Mental Evaluation
Chef Yan’s enthusiasm about the culinary arts is infectious. It all started when he was a boy in his dad’s restaurant in Canton, China.
“The more we know about each other, the more we respect each other’s culture and heritage,” Yan said.
Yan has been an ambassador for Chinese and Asian American cooking since he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in food science back in the 1970 at UC Davis before he published his first cookbook in 1979.
“This Yan Can Cook book involved so many people. They are all my roommates friends and students. They all helped me,” Yan said.
This UC Davis student has produced 33 cook books since then and more than 3,500 television shows all over the world in places like China, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand.READ MORE: Boosted Californians Getting COVID At Twice The Rate Of Those Vaccinated But Not Boosted
His show Yan Can Cook is one of the longest-running food and travel shows ever.
“You look at social media, you look at the network, you look at all the local stations, they all have food and travel shows,” he said.
The next chapter involves a donation to the UC Davis library. His collection of 3,000 cookbooks, his first wok and thousands of photographs and other media will be the main ingredients at the Chef Martin Yan legacy archive. Approximately $20,000 will go toward digitizing and preserving it all.
Yan is inpsired by the old television cooking show The Galloping Gourmet and Julia Child, who continued to work well into her golden years.
“I never talk about my birthday, I just enjoy what I’m doing,” he said.
Yan is proud to have built a brand on the motto “If Yan can cook, so can you!” He introduced billions of people all over the world to Asian food and cultureMORE NEWS: Applications Now Open For $10K Grants For Sacramento Artists
“It’s amazing to be able to reach people in the little screen,” he said. “We’re having fun. We educate you but we’re having fun.”