Chef of the Week: Julie Tan

With over 25 years of professional culinary experience, Chef Julie Tan is one of the most experienced Certified Master Tasters on the panel. Although trained in the art of French cooking, Julie has worked closely with Chef Martin Yan developing recipes and cookbooks and serving as culinary coordinator for Yan Can Cook productions. She has been featured on the Academy’s PBS series, “The Academy’s World Cuisine,” and Martin Yan’s PBS series, “Asian Favorites.” Julie has served in a number of advisory positions within the industry, and she was welcomed as the first female member of the elite Gastronome Club. She has also served on the board at the Center for Culinary Development Innovation and has taught at Le Cordon Bleu San Francisco, the Art Institute of San Francisco, and Chow SF.

What is your favorite meal to prepare?

I have several, but one of my favorite meals to prepare is spicy green beans with ground meat (beef, pork, or chicken – whichever I have on hand). It’s well balanced with some protein and vegetables, and I get to use my all-time favorite ingredient: chilies/chili sauce.

What do you enjoy most about being a part of the ChefsBest panel?

I enjoy the camaraderie amongst the panel as well as the team that works there. I also appreciate being able to influence the decisions made by shoppers who put trust in our judgment.

In addition to participating on the ChefsBest panel, how else are you involved in the culinary community?

Teaching has always been my passion, so to be able to teach in institutions like California Culinary Academy and Le Cordon Bleu amongst other cooking schools was the ultimate dream come true; being able to share my knowledge with thousands of people gives me great satisfaction.

I have also enjoyed working with celebrity chef Martin Yan on his TV shows and cookbooks.

Traveling to other parts of the world, visiting orphanages, and cooking for little kids has been the icing on the cake. So far, my husband and I have visited orphanages in Hoi An, Vietnam; Acapulco, Mexico; Phuket, Thailand; and, most recently, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

What is your favorite ingredient in the kitchen and why?

I would say the ever-important chilies/chili sauce is my favorite ingredient. It is so versatile and adds a kick and an extra dimension to any dish.

To learn more about Julie Tan, and all of our other Certified Master Tasters click here.