Born in Guangzhou, China, Martin had his formal induction into the culinary world at 13, as an apprentice at a top Hong Kong restaurant. He has since captured the hearts of millions of fans by spicing his cooking with a personal ingredient: wit.
Martin tours the legendary Chinatown markets in San Francisco. Then he enjoys a meal at the Pearl City Restaurant owned by his friends Mr. and Mrs. Kin-Fai Chan. In-studio recipes include: drunken shrimp soup; four-mushroom beef; five-flavor chicken and eggplant.
Martin takes an in-depth look at the variety of food in Toronto's Chinatown and cooks Macanese food with a local Macanese family. In-studio recipes include: Mrs. Ozorio's okra with shrimp paste; slow-cooked seven-flavor pork; stir-fried soybean sprouts with bean thread noodles and Chinatown-style sponge cake with berries and cream.
Local Culinary Guide
Martin tours Yokohama's Chinatown with his friend Mr. Zeng and dines in a Beijing-style restaurant on a tatami mat. In studio recipes include: Nanjing "Surf and Turf" stir-fry; sweet and tangy lotus root salad and Mongolian beef.
The Fishing Village
Martin calls on the fishermen in the Coloane Village on Macau and feasts on the fruits of their labor including a unique "Hanging Fish". In-studio recipes include: Shanghainese wok-seared fish in wine sauce; black bean sauce clams with fresh basil and cracked crab in ginger-wine sauce.
Martin tours and samples from the grand opera of seafood in the Sydney Fish Market in Australia. Then he dines on the finest seafood with a fifth generation Chinese-Australian. Recipes include: wok-fried garlic crab in butter-wine sauce; steamed oysters on the half-shell and nori-dusted flounder bundles.
The Spice Garden
Singapore was once a major seaport during the height of the spice trade. Martin picks spices from the garden of his friend Kwan Liu who has a cooking school there. They use the spices to prepare dishes the fresh ingredients found at the Tiong Bahru Market. Recipes include: double-ginger fish; egg-flower soup with lemongrass and mushrooms and fluffy cloud in lime syrup.
Traditional Noodle Makers
Martin tries the art of noodle making at the Lee Family Restaurants in London's Chinatown. Recipes include: Jia Jiang noodles; Shang Dong stir-fry soup noodles and Gum Lo rainbow wontons with a seafood sweet-and-sour sauce.
Martin explores the effect of the Portuguese influence on Chinese cooking in Macau, dines outdoors in the European style and visits the "Miss Macau" restaurant. Recipes include: beauty queen beef; spicy clams with pork sausage and Macau clay pot with rice.
21st Century Chinatown
Chinatown in the 21st century - Martin explores the new Chinatowns that have evolved in and around Toronto. There he finds everything that exists in a traditional Chinatown. Recipes include: emerald chicken with grapes and kiwi; crispy halibut with miso vinaigrette and fried ice cream with ginger-caramel sauce.
Street Dining to Fine Dining
Martin and Chef Chen sample the best of everything from haute cuisine to simple street fare in Singapore. Recipes include: steamed king prawns with cilantro pesto; crispy seafood and mango packets and white cloud wok-seared scallops.
Everyday to Elegant
Martin tries traditional Chinese cuisine in Melbourne, from the quick and inexpensive, to dishes with a very elegant flair. Recipes include: Chinese doughnuts; shrimp and scallops with Chinese doughnuts and flower drum crab baked in the shell.
Wine and Dine
Martin drops into the Harbour Village Restaurant in San Francisco's Chinatown to taste the blend of East and West cuisine created by Chef Andy Wei and learns about wine pairings with Chinese food. Recipes include: lemongrass lamb with minted orange sauce; dungeness crab with basil San Francisco-style and three-pepper game hen.
Tea House Foods
Martin visits a 24-hour teahouse in Singapore and introduces Chef Susan Tieng, one of the few women chefs in Singapore. Recipes include: "steamed buns" with "Buddha bun vegetarian filling;" shrimp and tropical fruit rolls and golden baked buns with shrimp-scallop filling.
The Chinese Iron Chef
With the help of his friend Chef Tse, winner of the "Iron Chef" competition, Martin discovers the food found between the gates of heaven and earth in Yokohama's Chinatown. Recipes include: sweet and tangy catfish fillets; pepper steak in soy-red wine sauce and sweet Chinese herbal tea.
The Hong Kong Connection
Martin finds that old world favorites get a new world twist in Vancouver's Chinatown. Recipes include: master sauce squab; oven-baked salmon in spicy chili-bean sauce and pepper-seared scallops.
Respect and Confucian beliefs come into play as Martin has a reunion with his teacher and boyhood friends from China who now live in New York. Recipes include: stir-fried beef with bitter melon, braised fish fillet with tofu puff, Daikon and bean thread noodles.
Martin discovers the Chinese legacy in Honolulu and tries some favorites of Hawaiian restaurateur Sam Choy. Recipes include: tofu puff with long beans and mushrooms; Sam Choy's whole fish with fruit salsa; Okey Dokey Poke and Lu'Au stew.
Like Father, Like Son
Martin pays a visit to a tag team of father and son chefs and discusses dim sum and the local menu in Toronto's Chinatown. Recipes include: wok-braised lobster tails in creamy rum sauce; steamed fish with mushrooms and baby bok choy and mushrooms and baby bok choy in garlic soy sauce.
"Wo" in Cantonese means harmony or togetherness. Martin illuminates the harmony between generations as he samples classic Chinese dishes in Honolulu, San Francisco and New York and visits a New York Chinatown Senior Centre. Recipes include: big pot war wonton soup; velvet oysters with ginger-green onion sauce and triple-decker egg fu young.
The Portuguese first set foot on Macau in 1513 and their influence has evolved into a culture called Macanese. Martin visits Macau and tries some Macanese cooking courtesy of Chef Dona Manuela. Recipes include: spicy grilled chicken thighs a la Macau; Macau-style stuffed prawns and tamarind braised pork.
Martin introduces Cantonese dishes inspired by the first Chinese settlers in the world's best known Chinatown in San Francisco. Recipes include: "Year of Good Fortune" fish salad; trout stuffed with fish mousse and Cantonese clay pot rice.
Mr. Fish Head
Martin visits Damenlou or "Big Door" restaurant, the haunt of Singapore's legendary and beloved character, Mr. Fish Head. Recipes include: Singapore's fish head soup and family-style fish with bean sprouts.
Martin, with the help of a few experts, explores the subtleties of Chinese tea, in New York, Yokohama and Singapore. He then takes us on a tour of bake shops in Chinatowns around the world. Recipes include: pineapple buns; sweet bride's delight cakes; jade scallop dumplings and nori-sesame shrimp toasts.
Chinese cuisine is embraced by a western culture in Sydney's Chinatown. Martin and Chef Neil Perry shop, feast on barbecue and visit Chef Perry's world-famous restaurant. In-studio recipes include Chinatown deli char siu barbecue pork, spicy eggplant and silken tofu with mushrooms and black vinegar sauce.
Dim Sum Delights
Martin presents variations on dim sum in Sydney, Hawaii and Singapore. In-studio recipes include tempura shrimp and tofu roll and "surefire" siu mai golden baked buns with char siu filling.
Father and son chefs cook up Szechwan delicacies with Martin in Yokohama's Chinatown. In-studio recipes include Hunan chicken and nuts, sweet-and-spicy garlic prawns and ma po bean curd.
Culinary traditions from Hunan and Shanghai provinces are preserved in San Francisco and New York. Martin visits and tastes the results. In-studio recipes include tea-smoked pork and tender cabbage stir-fry, red-cooked fish tail, Shanghai sticky rice sui mai and lotus blossom omelette in broth.
Hakka Favorites at Home
After learning about the history of Chinese in Singapore, Martin has a traditional Hakka meal at the Goh family home in Singapore. In-studio recipes include Hakka-style stuffed tofu, Hakka shrimp-stuffed peppers and eggplant, salt-baked eight-flavor chicken and lucky duck and melon salad.
Peking Duck Dinner
Martin gets a close look at cooking with duck at the Peking Duck House in New York's Chinatown. In-studio recipes include mu shu duck wraps, duck soup with Napa cabbage and double-duty duck with bean sprouts.
Martin visits the cooking class of Chef Man Su Wong in Macau to learn about Macanese cooking. In-studio recipes include Macau's minchee minced pork, Macau rice noodles and bacalhau Macau.