Food is a massive part of America. Everywhere you turn, there’ll be a bistro, cafe, or eatery where you can eat to your heart’s content. Hence, we have to acknowledge the many prominent figures that have made a significant impact to the culinary scene, and that includes decorated Asian American chef Martin Yan.
Recently, Martin Yan scooped up the 2022 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award on 16 March 2022. This was announced by The James Beard Foundation, one of the most prestigious culinary organisations in the United States. The award celebrates chefs whose “lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and think about food in America”.
Winning this award was no small feat— Martin now joins an illustrious list of chefs who have previously clinched the award. This includes renowned chefs such as Wolfgang Puck, Alice Waters, and Leah Chase. Hence, the award truly represents Martin’s dedication for food in the past 43 years.
Martin’s earliest influences came from his mother, who helmed the kitchen at his family’s restaurant. Of course, Martin’s name is synonymous with his iconic cooking show— ‘Yan Can Cook‘, which first went on air on PBS back in 1982.
He was just 33 years old back then, but he set out with the goal of spreading the Asian style of cooking in mind. ‘Yan Can Cook‘ was broadcasted in over 50 countries and spanned over 2,000 episodes. For him, his successful venture laid the foundation for success for years to come. Growing up, I still vaguely remember watching his cooking videos with my parents.
Entertainment is not the only slice of his career. Martin will be opening his latest restaurant in newly rebranded Horseshoe Las Vegas towards the end of 2022. Besides that, he has also written over 30 cookbooks, including ‘Martin Yan’s China’ and ‘The Yan Can Cookbook’.
An iconic chef and entertainer, Martin has certainly engraved his name into the culinary scene. His catchphrase, “If Yan can cook, so can you!” will remain iconic for years to come.
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