The TV show I’m about to discuss is something that Vienamese people born from 2000 onward might have barely heard of because it was broadcasted more than 20 years ago. It’s a cooking show called Yan Can Cook starring a Chinese chef whose name is Martin Yan.
The show has several episodes, and in each episode, Yan teaches us how to cook a special dish from a specific Asian country. Sometimes, it’s a very familiar one with common ingredients like pork or carrot, but often Yan challenges us with very complicated recipes and the types of meat or vegetable that are not easy to find in Vietnam. However, he’s always trying to make his presentation as simple as possible because the motto or the catchphrase of the show is “if Yan can cook, so can you”.
I really like the show not only because Yan is a good chef with remarkable cooking skills and a considerable knowledge of cuisine but also because he has a great sense of humor. And the best part of it is that it was on air periodically on Sunday afternoon, at 5 p.m. I still remember my family gathering in front of the TV, watching the show, and discussing the feasibility of the recipes presented. You know, back then, our living condition was far from perfect. In fact, my parents had to struggle a lot to make ends meet, and thus they were hardly at home. So on Sunday afternoon, we had to seize every bit of the weekend to do something together, and watching TV was much of a practical option because there were very few choices of recreational activities at the time. And Yan Can Cook, with its periodicity and accessibility to audiences of all ages, was one of the shows that the whole family could enjoy together. There’s nothing sensitive or offensive about it; it’s fun, informative, and appealing, and it was really imprinted on the minds of people of my age.
Although it’s been 20 years since the last time I watched the show, just thinking of it could recall my memories of those good old days when I had such a great time with my family.