Chef Helen Roberts is the Culinary Development and Public Relations manager of Kikkoman Sales USA, Inc., and has been with the company for more than 33 years. She currently oversees Kikkoman’s Test Kitchen including the development and testing of a wide variety of on-trend Asian, American and international recipes for home cooks.
Before moving into her current position, she spent 25 years in product development for Kikkoman. Growing up in an African-American home in Brooklyn, Roberts learned not only Southern-style home cooking and traditional American dishes but also a mix of ethnic cuisine such as Caribbean, Italian and Jewish.
With her lively personality and easy-going approach to great home cooking, Roberts has made frequent television and Internet appearances. She was recently invited to the White House to participate in Michelle Obama’s “Chefs Move to Schools” program, which is part of the First Lady’s Let’sMove! campaign aimed at solving the childhood obesity epidemic. Roberts is partnering with other members of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) to support the “Chefs Move to Schools” and Junior Leagues’ Kids in the Kitchen initiative. Roberts is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and has studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
She also studied traditional Mexican culinary techniques at Seasons of my Heart cooking school in Oaxaca, Mexico and the California School of Sushi. In 2014 Chef Helen was named Vice President of the prestigious Les Dames D’Escoffier (LDEISF) and serves on the Board of Directors of IACP.
The celebrated host of over 3,500 cooking shows, broadcast worldwide, Martin Yan enjoys distinction as a certified Master Chef, a highly respected food consultant, a cooking instructor and a prolific author (of 30 cookbooks).
Born in Guangzhou, China, to a restaurateur father and a mother who operated a grocery store, Chef Yan possessed a passion for cooking at the early age of 13. In 1978, he pioneered a daily TV Chinese cooking show, the now classic “Yan Can Cook.” Infusing lessons with his characteristic warmth, humor and vitality, he quickly won a devoted following. He developed the show’s format into a culinary travelogue, featuring culinary hot spots throughout Asia. His latest series, “Martin Yan’s Taste of Vietnam” debuts on public television this Fall 2014.
A valued instructor at top culinary institutions, Chef Yan has taught at The Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales University, The California Culinary Academy and The Chinese Cuisine Institute in Hong Kong. In 1985, he founded the Yan Can Cooking School in California. Also a restaurateur, Chef Yan brings Chinese culinary tradition and culture to light via an authentic, modern dining experience with his new restaurant, M.Y. China, in San Francisco and Rohnert Park, California.
Dedicated to dispelling the mysteries of Asian cooking, Yan furthers an understanding of these excellent cuisines, and the cultures that created them, with spirited lessons, fun and entertainment.