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East meets West at Martin Yan's cooking school
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For those who want to hone their cooking skills, a world-class choice in Shenzhen is Chef Martin Yan's Culinary Arts Center.

Occupying a two-story building next to the litchi garden of Window of the World, the cooking school was a long-cherished dream of Martin Yan, a Chinese-born American chef who used to host the award-winning cooking show, "Yan Can Cook."

As one of the two best-known figures of Chinese origin (the other being Jackie Chan) in North America, Yan, the widely acclaimed ambassador of Chinese cuisine, is dedicated to promoting Chinese cooking worldwide with this “world’s kitchen.”

"To a larger extent, I see it as a platform for culinary and cultural exchange between the East and the West," Yan said.

He hopes chefs from other countries will come to Shenzhen to take classes and use the expertise acquired to prepare authentic Chinese cuisine around the world.

The training center takes up the entire second floor of the building. With a floor area of more than 2,000 square meters, it features work stations, a chef's table and multi-media equipment. It can accomodate up to 32 trainees at a time, and also an audience of about 80.

The center organizes culinary tours for both chefs and lovers of Chinese cuisine, taking them to popular destinations like Guilin, Xi'an and Beijing. It also provides catering services for corporate functions and weddings, and also gives etiquette and wine tasting classes.

Located on the first floor of the building is a branch of Yan's SensAsian restaurant chain.

With a view of the litchi garden nearby, the restaurant offers an international menu with an emphasis on "East meets West" fusion dishes.

The signature set meal of five courses (108 yuan, or US$15.56 per person) is a popular choice. The crispy rice with assorted seafood cooked in supreme oyster sauce is served piping hot in a pot. The seafood compliments the flavor of the dish very well.

The most special part is the dessert: silky tofu pudding and Korean kumquat in sweet Thai chili sauce. It makes for a unique combination of sweet, spicy and sour flavors blended together, creating an explosion in your mouth.

A highly recommended appetizer is the potato samosa with sour cream. The potato pocket dipped in a mixture of sour cream and SensAsian’s signature sauce creates textures and flavors that tingle the taste buds.

Chef Martin Yan Culinary Arts Center, No.5 European-style Street, Window of the World, Nanshan District (南山区华侨城世界之窗欧风街5号楼甄文达大师厨艺中心)

Tel: (852) 2858-7633

(Shenzhen Daily June 2, 2008)

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