"Yan can cook.. And so can you!"
Sounds familiar? Last month, I had the opportunity to meet the person who made that line famous in his show 'Cook With Yan'... Chef Martin Yan! I was one of the few lucky ones invited to an exclusive dinner hosted by the Asian Food Channel for their celebrity chef tour at the New World Hotel in Makati.
When I arrive at our table, I find a cutting board signed by Chef Martin on my seat. What a cool giveaway! I don't think I'll be able to use it for fear of washing off the signature.
I check the menu and see that we have a six-course dinner to look forward to that night. So even if this bread basket looks so inviting, I only eat a few pieces to save stomach space.
I'm happy that I get to spend the evening with these lovely ladies.. Mish Aventajado (Momma N Manila), Tina Ong (The Phenomenal Mama), Sab Cristobal-Go (Sinfully Sabrina), and Joey Larrazabal-Blanco (80 Breakfasts).
Chef Martin Yan also joins our table and tells us about the dishes he's making us try tonight.
For our appetizer, we are given a salad called Pomelo and Prawn Delight. I'm not sure if I heard him right but Chef Martin said he used fish sauce in it. But I didn't taste anything fishy so I guess the flavors just mix in well.
After the salad, we are given Hot and Sour Pineapple Fish Soup. I love hot and sour soup but I have never tried one mixed with pineapple and fish. Interesting!
For our first main course, we have the Trio of Seafood Fresh Rice Rolls which comes with two dipping sauces. I really like this especially since it's one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes (read my blog post about my trip to Vietnam).
Our culinary adventure pauses here and we are called to the kitchen for a cooking demonstration. Chef Martin Yan wows everyone with his prowess in using the knife. He can cut vegetables so thinly, it's amazing! Chef Martin Yan says he practices every single day and he uses only his own knife.
He then calls Mish to join him in front and teaches her some techniques in slicing. He tells her that a sharp knife is a safe knife and shows her how sharp his knife is.
Mish cuts the vegetables given to her flawlessly.
They then proceed to prepare another one of the main dishes... Wok-Seared "Shaking" Beef. I don't know if Chef Martin Yan is serious when he said (because chef is such a joker :D) he calls it Shaking Beef because he shakes, shakes, shakes it in the pan like what Mish is doing in the photo below.
Here is the finished product. It looks so delicious!
But before we go back to our tables and have a taste of the dish, there is one more performance that everyone is looking forward to seeing.. Chef Martin Yan's record-breaking chicken carving. He can do it in under 16 seconds. Amazing!!! Watch the video below if you don't believe me.
After that amazing feat, we all go back to our tables and enjoy the Wok-Seared "Shaking" Beef. Not long after, we are given our third main called Char-Grilled Spring Chicken which is served over a bed of mixed greens.
Everyone is so full already but when our dessert comes, the Sweet Jackfruit in Sago Coconut Milk, I finish the whole thing because it's so good!
Before dinner ends, Chef Martin Yan introduces the New World Hotel team who helped him with dinner.. Thank you!
A big thank you also to Sab and the Asian Food Channel for this amazing experience!
Catch Chef Martin Yan on the Asian Food Channel (CH26 on Cignal, CH22 on Skycable, and CH248 on Skycable HD) every Friday in a 26-episode series called Taste of Vietnam which explores the breathtaking landscape, colorful history, and tasty dishes of Vietnam.