Martin Yan Donates Memorabilia to UC Davis

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martin yan with cookbooks
Martin Yan. Photo from the UC Davis Giving website.

Celebrity chef Martin Yan (“Yan Can Cook”) has donated his massive cookbook collection, his first wok and other memorabilia to UC Davis for an archive to be established in his name. The Chef Martin Yan Legacy Archive will include nearly 3,000 cookbooks, including 30 authored by Yan, along with photographs, videos, media clips and awards received by Yan. Yan and his wife, Susan, both graduates of UC Davis, also donated $20,000 to preserve and digitize the archive.

University librarian MacKenzie Smith said the collection “provides valuable insight into an important era of Asian cultural and culinary history and one of UC Davis’ most celebrated alumni.” Once digitized, the archive “will allow scholars around the world to learn more about Asian food.”

Yan, a chef, TV host, cookbook author and restaurateur, is known for his catchphrase “If Yan can cook, so can you!” The Yans said they chose UC Davis for their archive because of the university’s international prestige in food and wine sciences. Local food journalist and cookbook author Elaine Corn recently donated her own collection of papers and other memorabilia to UC Davis Library.

The library will hold a public event in early May to celebrate Yan’s donation. Yan and his wife will speak, and he will sign books and hold a cooking demonstration. To be notified when registration opens for the ticketed event, go here.