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2022 James Beard Awards: Chef Martin Yan receives prestigious honor

Uploaded: Mar 18, 2022
By Julia Brown

Martin Yan highlighting plant-based dishes and induction cooktops for holiday tables at a Nov. 7, 2021 event. Photo courtesy Yan Can Cook.

Acclaimed chef and TV personality Martin Yan has received the James Beard Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2022, which recognizes an individual “whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America,” according to the foundation.

Yan, a San Mateo resident, began cooking on television in 1978. His show, “Yan Can Cook,” has produced 3,500 episodes and been broadcast to more than 50 countries, the James Beard Foundation said in a statement. He was nominated and selected by a foundation committee.

“For four decades, the Yan Can Cook show has allowed me to journey to incredible places and meet with unforgettable people all around the world,” Yan said in a statement. “My heart is more than full in accepting this special award from the James Beard Foundation. This is the apex of our profession, and for me, it validates my entire career. This is the absolute experience of my lifetime. Thank you.”

Last fall, Yan appeared at an event with fellow Bay Area chefs showcasing some of their favorite plant-based dishes and spoke in an interview with The Six Fifty about the importance of adapting cooking techniques to take climate change into account.

“Part of the solution is cutting down consumption of meat,” Yan said. “Eventually you have to find a way to do it. The world is changing, and we have to adapt to it.”
The James Beard Foundation will recognize this year’s restaurant and chef award winners at a ceremony June 13 in Chicago.

Disclosure: An Embarcadero Media staff member is part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.

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