Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Martin Yan at the Book Fest

Hubby is the cook in our family. He's tell you that I burn water, but it's not that ... I just don't really like to cook. It's difficult for me and it's not fun. Did I mention that hubby is the kind of guy who can look in the pantry, pull out random ingredient, and concoct a fabulous meal without consulting a cook book? Yeah, I'm totally lucky (and jealous).

Why am I telling you this? Cooking is how I get hubby to the Baltimore Book Festival with me! He loves watching the famous (and not-so-famous) chefs demonstrate their techniques and he's always looking for more cookbooks. So Saturday at the Book Fest was hubby's day (Friday and Sunday were mine!).

We planned to be there in plenty of time for the 1:00pm appearance of hubby's childhood favorite, Martin Yan. (Remember him? He was one of the first TV chefs, and his catchphrase was "If Yan Can Cook, So Can You!") During the 20 minute drive to the city, the rain started. And I don't just mean a drizzle, I'm talking DOWNPOUR. Hubby and I looked at each other and said "Are we crazy?! We're going someplace outside in this weather?!" Then we laughed and kept on driving.

Traffic was snarled because you know people forget how to drive once the rain starts. That made us late for the demo so we ended up in the back. But thanks to my fabulous new camera I still got great pictures.

Here's hubby under the tent with his umbrella, because yes, the rain was so bad it was coming in the sides of the tent. But hubby was happy and that made me happy.

Martin was great fun to watch! He is funny, quick-witted, and all-around entertaining. He kept saying how lucky he was that it was raining because he had a captive audience, and how if it didn't rain no one would be there watching him. Here's a quick example:

Yes, that's right - Martin Yan took pictures of the audience. He said it was for his mom!

Here are a few pictures from his cooking demo. He was making a spicy shrimp dish (I can't remember what it's called) that was DELICIOUS.

Martin Yan is about 60 years old and has been cooking on TV for 30 years. If you've never seen him, you're really missing out. Several times during his demo he'd say "If Yan Can Cook ..." then the audience would join in with "So Can You!" But at one point he said "If Yan can cook, so can you! If Yan can't cook, don't even try it!" HA!

I had another video to share but I accidentally erased it. Ugh. But I do remember one of the things that Martin said. He was explaining that cooking should be fun and he said "The kitchen should be the 2nd most fun room in the house!" When everyone laughed he said something like "I think the bedroom is the most fun ... I do all my reading in my bedroom!" You gotta love this guy.

After the demo hubby purchase Martin's new cookbook, Martin Yan's China, and we got in line to meet the chef.

Can you tell how excited hubby was? He told Martin that he'd been watching his shows since he was a child. The chef was funny and gracious, signing hubby's book with a little note and a phrase in Chinese.

After meeting Martin, we had about three hours before hubby's next chef would be on. We wandered the book fest grounds, browsed the booths, bought some things, had our handwriting analyzed, and tried not to get too wet. While hubby took our books back to the car I had a chance to hear from the author of Lady MacBeth (I wrote about that here).

I'll get the rest of the Book Fest posts up over the next few days. Here's what you can expect: another chef/author, coverage of my panel, a list of the books I learned about, and a general recap. WHEW!

FYI, I'm still dealing with a crashing computer, a damaged laptop, and now no computer at work (we moved to a new office and they still can't get the internet up). So if I'm not a regular with my posts I'm sorry! But I'll (hopefully) be back on track soon!


bermudaonion said...

I remember Yan - I didn't know he was still doing shows. Sounds like a good time and a great hubby!

Kim L said...

Your husband sounds very much like my own! I don't love cooking very much and he does. So I buy him cooking gear for birthday and Christmas in most cases.

Alyce said...

That is so cool! My husband and I used to watch Yan Can Cook every Saturday when we first go married.

Jen said...

I didn't know there were chefs at the book festival. I may just need to go next year. It sounds like a fun time! :)

Dawn (sheIsTooFondOfBooks) said...

How fun to know that your husband went and enjoyed the festival with you (despite the rain!).

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