From My Wok to Yours - Taking the Mystery Out of Everyday Dining and Meals!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Why This Way?

My wife just asked me why I am using Martin Yan as my primary focus.  For me, the answer was easy... I feel more akin to his work than I do to that of, say Gordon Ramsay, or Rachel Ray, or even Iron Chef Morimoto.  Don't get me wrong, I respect highly the work of most of the other high profile chefs and cooks out there.  But Martin Yan?  We share a link: to the Bay Area, and a highly developed sense of good taste as it applies to Chinese (and all Asian) cuisine.

I always thought it was cool to watch Martin Yan perform his tricks with the cleaver and utensils live in front of a studio audience.  I suffered through the transition during which he did his shows in front of a camera but no audience, and then through the addition of LOTS of b-roll (previously shot video) from his trips through Asia and abroad.  What was striking to me about the change and loss of audience was the dramatic change in how dynamic his presentations were.

I ran into Martin one day while having lunch with my Mom and Sister at a Chinese Restaurant in Foster City.  I, being the fearless 9 year old that I was at the time, went up to him and asked for his autograph.  (We had not been graced with the advent of cell phones with cameras at that time, so I was out of luck.) I told him, without trying to gush in adoration, that I was a huge fan of his.  He asked me what my name was, and after I told him, he looked me in the eye, shook my hand, and said "That is my son's name as well!  If you love my show this much, then you will do well in the kitchen as well." He then signed a postcard that my mom happened to have in her purse, and a new kinship began.

Favorite moments? That was definitely one of them. (Second would be his demonstration of carving a chicken in less than 20 seconds.)

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