Martin Yan is probably best known for his slapstick cooking style and popular PBS series, "Yan Can Cook." For almost 25 years, Martin has entertained and taught North Americans how to create authentic Asian cuisine. His well known, heavily accented English has shown us the best uses for Bok Choy and other asian vegetables.

Born in 1956 in Buangzhou, China, Martin left home at the age of 13. He traveled, working in restaurants to earn his way. He considers himself to be a gypsy, always living with people when he travels. He makes it a point to learn the native language of whomever he stays with, and today boasts four different Chinese dialects, in addition to English.

Martin originally attended the Overseas Institute of Cookery in Calgary, Alberta, paying his tuition by doing odd jobs at the school. He left to pursue his masters degree in Food Science from the University of California at Davis, which he recieved in 1975. At the age of 16 he began teaching a Chinese cooking class at the university. One day a student fell asleep. Martin realized he needed to find a way to make his classes more interesting, and discovered it when he awoke the student by banging his spatula on his wok. When the classroom broke into laughter, Martin realized that humor was the best way to keep people interested, and thus his comedic cooking style was born. Today, that style remains an integral part of all his shows.

In 1978 Martin opened his first restaurant in Calgary. After adding a cooking class he was asked to appear on a local talk show. His appearance was so well-recieved the show asked him to become a regular, with his own segment. In 1979 he began "Yan Can Cook" on PBS. A show which remains popular throughout North America today.

In 1994 Martin Yan was presented the James Beard Award for Best Television Show. This award acknowledged his success as an international icon. Today Martin is a successful restaurant owner, consultant, television personality, and author. Among the companies that he consults for are Ruby Tuesday®, United Airlines®, Kikkoman®, Libby®, Nestle®, Tyson®, and the Empress Court at Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas.

Martins latest venture is a new television series "Yan Can Cook, the Best of Chinatown." It is a culinary journey through a11 of the world's largest Chinatowns including Sydney, Australia and New York City.

In addition to his popular television series and consulting, Martin also has a signature line of knives and kitchen equipment; he has also authored over a dozen books.

Books by Martin Yan:

Information above was gathered, in part, at the following websites:;; and

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