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.
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.