James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Chief Martin Yan Speaks Out Against Hate Crimes and Violence Against Asians in the Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Celebrity chef Martin Yan has spoken out against the increase in incidents of Asian hate crimes and violence in the United States since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.RELATED: San Francisco Bay Area Asian Americans Share Hateful Incidents As Community Violence Rises

“I feel so sad that they are being targeted,” said the San Mateo resident and pioneer of the Bay Area’s Asian community.

“There’s no need to target all these old people, you know, they’re victims. We’re all victims during the pandemic. So we just have to come together to make the Bay Area a better place for us to live. all.”RELATED: AAPI Teen’s Social Justice Artwork for ‘End The Violence’ Wins Congressional Art Contest Prize

As restrictions were lifted, Yan actively encouraged people to return to the Bay Area to visit. He spends his time supporting merchants in San Francisco’s Chinatown who have suffered during the pandemic.

This year, he released a YouTube series about San Francisco’s Chinatown, titled MY Chinatown to showcase the stories, strength and resilience of the people and businesses in this community.

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Easily one of the most recognizable chefs in the world, Yan began cooking on television in 1978. His show “Yan Can Cook” has produced 3,500 episodes and has been broadcast in over 50 countries.

This year, the James Beard Foundation presented him with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of a lifetime of work that has had “a lasting, positive impact on the way we eat, cook and/or think about food. in America”. “, according to a press release from the foundation.

Although he is one of the most recognizable chefs in the world, Yan spoke of humble beginnings.

“For me, being a young child, I left China when I was very young and came here with only about 20 US dollars in my pocket. Nothing – no parents, nothing at all. I have to learn to survive “, did he declare.

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“I was born and raised in the most turbulent time in modern Chinese history. Lots of starvation, lots of starvation. We went to bed hungry all the time. So I always say to myself, if ever I “Had the chance, I would study food, I would produce food. I would get involved in food so I would never go hungry. That’s why my whole life is about food,” he said. -he declares.

He credits his success to his mother, who told him never to take “no” for an answer.

Yan’s mother ran a grocery store and succeeded despite many difficulties. She often encouraged him that anything was possible in life.

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“She’s a badass and a survivor. She always said that I had no education and that I could do it. You can too. That’s why later, when I think of the slogan ‘Yan can cook , you too”, I think of my mother.”

Always advocating to make the Bay Area a better place to live, work and visit, Yan spends her time raising money for public libraries, supporting local restaurants and showcasing the wonderful things the Bay Area has to offer. to offer.

“We live in one of the most beautiful and abundant places,” Yan said.

“Let us take care of each other, live harmoniously, serenely, and be respectful and receptive to each other.

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