Thursday, September 6, 2012

Meeting my cooking idol, Martin Yan in KL

Last month, the Asian Food Channel organised a contest called "Autumn Treasures with Martin Yan", whereby winners get a chance to meet Master Chef Martin Yan in person. I was lucky to be one of the chosen five and got to attend an exclusive dinner at Berjaya University College of Hospitality hosted by the man himself!

 I was delighted thay I finally got the chance to shake Martin Yan's hand, speak to him, take a photo with him and he even signed an autograph for me with a special message... he is afterall one of my cooking idols!

Yan can cook, so can Yen ;)

Autograph from Chef Martin Yan - this is going up on my kitchen wall ;)


Even as a child, I love watching cooking programmes and Martin Yan always amazes me with his super-fast chopping skills! What I love most about him is how charismatic he is on TV and in person, he is incredibly quick witted and makes everyone in the room laugh with him!

Martin Yan's most famous tagline is "If Yan can cook, so can you!", and thanks to Martin Yan, Yen (that's me) can cook too!



The dinner was held at Samplings on the Fourteenth in Berjaya Times Hotel with around 90 guests attending. Other than meeting Martin Yan, I also got to meet the other winners of the contest, one of which is Hock Chai, a chef from Zi Zai Restaurant in Penang. I have been "liking" his delicious cooking on AFC's FB, so it is nice to finally meet him in person too! Also happy to meet Criz, Caren and Matthew.


Introductory speech


Wine pairing dinner with Jacob's Creek wines

The 5-course dinner started with crispy beancurd skin rolls filled with vegetables and mushrooms and pickled carrot. Then, Martin Yan gave a cooking demonstration, whereby he exhibited his excellent chopping skills (man, he can slice the cucumber and garlic soooooooo thinly!) and also how he relaxed a chicken ("a nervous chicken is difficult to debone", according to him) and then debone it in 18 seconds (you can watch the video here). We also picked up a few garnish skills from him (shaping a rose from tomato skin, making a flower from cucumber), so hopefully we can remember how to replicate it at home.

He then demonstrated the dragon and phoenix in a basket ("stir fry your food, not stare fry it", he says - on one of the most important techniques in Chinese cooking). I tell you, this man comes up with the funniest puns... I was laughing all night. Other dishes we got to try were the beef stew with beancurd sticks and Chinese chestnuts, smoked marinated squab and wine poached pears.

Crispy beancurd skin rolls


Time for the cooking demo!

Garnishing and deboning a chicken

Dragon & Phoenix in a Basket


Yay! First photo of the night with Martin Yan. I'm a happy girl!

Beef Stew with Beancurd sticks and Chinese chestnuts



Smoked Marinated Squab


Happy to meet you, Hock Chai!

Wine Poached Pear


And another shot with Martin Yan before we leave! ;)

Full set of photos can be viewed on my Facebook page here.


Location: Samplings on the Fourteenth, Berjaya Times Square Hotel, 1 Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-2117 8000

GPS Coordinates: 3.142637, 101.709538

*This post was featured on Asian Food Channel's Facebook page on 6 September 2012

40 comments:

  1. Nice tagline...so appropriate and it rhymes too...hehe =)

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    1. Yeah he came up with it on the spot.. such a clever man!

      And I always say, "Thanks to Yan, Yen can cook too." :)

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  2. Replies
    1. I really like to watch his chopping skills, he makes everything look so easy.... dont think I can ever chop as fast or as skilful as him.

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  3. Certainly look a class above what he cooked on his shows in the good old days - Wok with Yan OR Yan can cook... Those were really simple, cukup makan kind of dishes - like those that I cook. Hehehehehehe!!!!

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    1. I guess times have changed, esp in restaurants - ppl expect to see nice presentation when they eat. But I think a lot of his simple food is still great for ppl to prepare at home.

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    2. Btw Wok with Yan is a different guy by the name Stephen Yan.

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  4. I still rmb watching his show "cook with yan" and i still enjoy watching his show on AFC. He has so much energy and character.

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    1. I know, the best part of last night was listening to what he says. He is such a funny man, we were all laughing so hard. It was such an entertaining evening for us.

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  6. Food looks great! I have been watching Martin Yan since I was young, really enjoyed his free and easy style.

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    Replies
    1. Looks like most Asians have watched him when they were younger. Hehe. ;)

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  7. I have been his fan for a long time.. :)

    He is such a sweet and hilarious chef.. I feel he is very genuine and really lightens up the room each time he cooks.

    Lucky you! ;)

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    1. Thanks, was so glad I entered the contest and won two seats for us. Really had a great time, he is such a nice guy and really funny. Amazing to see him cook and chop.

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  8. He is my idol too, watched his show since primary school..? Lucky you!

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    1. Same here, remember after balik sekolah, turn on TV and see his shows. He still has it after all these years!

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  9. He's a funny chef. He can joke while cooking.
    Agreed with his super-fast chopping skills! hhahah....

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    1. You know he can chop 40 slices out of a small garlic clove!! Crazy fast and skilled!

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  10. Yan can cook?Sure can! When Yen met Yan, what would be the chemistry?Explosive I guess, hahaha! By the way, love your tight, tight dress! You look sexy there!

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    Replies
    1. Heeheheh Jessie, you make me blush! LOL!

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  11. I remember his chopping skill, very fast and thin slice. Hehehe :)

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    1. Yesterday he show us how he cut the cucumber.... then can slowly open it to form a nice garnish for the plate. Looks so amazing.

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  12. Yen and Yan! You both should do a tv show together lah, heheh. i remember catching glimpses of his show too, cos my grandmother and aunt would watch him. i think they'd love the chance to meet him too! :D

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    1. Aiyah, will be a long time before I can do a TV show. Need to learn how to be charismatic like him and funny also! There was an older couple sitting at our table and the aunty looked so happy when Martin Yan came over to take photos with her. It was such a nice moment.

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  13. Replies
    1. Thanks, it was a very nice prize indeed.

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  14. this is one amazing chef...funny and yes he can cook!

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    1. And he can smile and talk when he chops up stuff. If us, means tension gila edi! ;P

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  15. Looks like you guys are having fun!!! I'm gonna meet Martin Yan this saturday in Singapore! :D

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    1. Oh COOL! Am sure you would love him, he's such a likeable guy!

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  16. I always remember him as a funny cook when I watch his show.

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    1. Yup, he is very good at making ppl laugh with him. Even when he's being serious. LOL.

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  17. Ohhhhhh ! If Yan can cook so can Yen !!!!! lol I am so envious ! The food looks scrumptious ! :D

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    1. Happy that I finally get to meet him. And got his autograph too.. hoorayyyyy!

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  18. Yen, good for you to meet your cooking idol:D

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  19. Oh wow, how fantastic that you got to meet him! :D You look great in the photos too! :D

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  20. You were so lucky to meet your cooking idol. The food looks delicious.

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  21. When my mom says she's a fan of Chef Martin Yan when she were young, my eyes widen, and ask, Chef Martin Yan existed since you were young?????? Hahaha.. Now I know he has been very influential and one of the 'pioneer' of celebrity chef. And hey, you look shy at that pic !;p are u ?

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