Martin Yan

Yan Can Cook - Foster City, CA

Born into a family deeply rooted in the restaurant and grocery business in Guangzhou, China, Martin Yan’s culinary journey began at an early age. As a young apprentice in a renowned restaurant in Hong Kong, he cultivated a passion for cooking, which led him to further refine his skills at the Overseas Institute of Cookery in Hong Kong.

Martin Yan pursued higher education, earning a Master’s Degree in Food Science from the University of California, Davis in the United States. It was during his time at the university that Yan discovered his talent for teaching, serving as an instructor in the university’s extension program.

In 1978, Yan launched the iconic Yan Can Cook series, a landmark in culinary television that blended cooking lessons with his unique blend of humor and expertise. For over four decades, the Yan Can Cook show has captivated audiences across the United States through public television broadcasts, introducing generations to the delights of Chinese and Asian cuisines.

In recent years, Yan has expanded his culinary exploration, filming episodes of his popular series in various Asian countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Korea, and Thailand. His latest venture, Yan Can Cook: Spice Kingdom, a 13-part series set in Chengdu, China, has recently debuted on public television in the United States, with more exciting projects on the horizon such as Taste of Malaysia with Martin Yan and Korea Food Alive, each comprising 13 episodes filmed on location.

Despite his global success, teaching remains a cherished aspect of Yan’s career. He continues to share his expertise as a guest instructor at prestigious culinary institutions worldwide, including The Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales University, and Le Cordon Bleu Schools. Through his dedication to culinary education and his infectious passion for cooking, Yan continues to inspire aspiring chefs and food enthusiasts around the world.


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