In light of his new show True Passion—Martin Yan on the Asian Food Channel premiering Jul 13, the San Francisco-based chef and TV celebrity tells Hidayah Salamat why he thinks Singapore is a gourmet mecca and which cooking ingredient he’d marry.
When I taught classes at Le Cordon Bleu, I remember Chef Wan always volunteered to help. In fact, I was the one who gave his certificate to him.
Nobody is funnier than Chef Wan—I love him. He's a genuinely funny man. Even when he's sleeping, he's funny.
I do television, write books, make personal appearances for charity, open restaurants, consult for restaurants, and conduct lectures and seminars. I’m not just a chef.
There is no such thing as a 100% perfect match.
The perfect taste is in the eye of the beholder. If you like it, then it’s the perfect pairing for you.
I’m a person who has total confidence and belief in himself. I believe I’m not even close to perfect. I never expect too much from myself. I feel no pressure. I’m not like other celebrities. If I go somewhere, nobody knows I’m there.
I’m happy as long as I get to share what I do. It’s not about being rich and famous.
I look at life very positively. If you live life fully and follow your passions, you’re all set.
Life is not about how long you live; it’s about how you live it.
One of the greatest chefs in Singapore to me is Sam Leong. He’s very talented. Daniel Koh is another accomplished chef. I always admire how these culinary professionals try to do the best they can—this is why Singapore is a gourmet mecca.
I always say, “I hope you like it. If you don’t like it, go do it yourself.”
I always look at my audience. If they don’t laugh or smile, something’s wrong with my presentation.
If I had to marry an ingredient, it’d be crab. Chili crab or pepper crab—whatever; you can do anything you want with crab. You can serve it chilled, grilled, in soup, in chowder, in Thai green curry or Indian curry, classic, contemporary, as a salad with avocado, and even in fried rice. Crab is a very, very good ingredient.
I can never be miserable over what people say about me. As much as I tried, I couldn’t care less.
I was once criticized for not being able to speak Mandarin well. How many people in Singapore speak perfect Mandarin, anyway?
Some people complain so much. You’re wasting time complaining! Why waste time when you don’t improve anything? When you appreciate other people, there’s a chance for you to learn from them.
I don’t care about being famous.
If Yan can cook, so can you!
Catch True Passion—Martin Yan every Wed starting Jul 13, 8.30pm on Starhub Channel 435.