Yan: Malaysia is a food paradise

KUALA LUMPUR - Celebrity chef Martin Yan said the tasty and "explosive" flavours of Malaysian cuisine had inspired him to promote the country as a one-stop food paradise.

"I love Malaysia. I love its people, culture and especially, its food.

"The combination of fresh herbs and spices used in preparing Malaysian dishes is very unique," said Yan, who is best known for his award-winning Yan Can Cook television show in the United States.

"That's why I come to Malaysia every now and then to taste all sorts of food at hawker stalls for new recipe ideas.

"I also try to incorporate local ingredients like belacan and santan into my cooking."

Yan said he planned to collaborate with Redzuawan Ismail, better known as Chef Wan, to help promote Malaysia's food, culture and heritage on the international stage.

"We have been friends for a long time and I have always admired his dedication towards showcasing Malaysia's exquisite flavours to the world."

The celebrity chef, who is based in San Francisco, said local dishes like nasi lemak, satay and bak kut teh, were some of the most delicious food he had ever tasted. He also said he visited Malaysian restaurants at least three times a month in the US.

Yan was in Malaysia yesterday for the Fabulous Food 1Malaysia exhibition held at the Putra World Trade Centre, where thousands of people gathered to catch a glimpse of their favourite celebrity chef in action.

Yan was invited by Lee Kum Kee, a sauce manufacturing company, to showcase his culinary skills at the food fair.