Four Decades on, Martin Yan Faces a New Audience and a New World

The man who used television to help many North Americans start cooking Chinese food at home is as cheery as ever, but aware of some harsher truths.

Martin Yan at home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since he started cooking on TV in 1982, he has taught millions of people how to cook various Asian cuisines.Credit…Aya Brackett for The New York Times

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By Priya Krishna

HILLSBOROUGH, Calif. — Live from his home kitchen in the Bay Area, Martin Yan flashed a smile, raised his cleaver and chanted the catchphrase that the 150 or so people watching him online were clamoring to hear: “If Yan can cook, so can you!”

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