Award-Winning Chinese American Chefs and Digital Icons Honored at China Institute Culinary Center’s Annual Award

June 12, 2024

New York, June 12, 2024 – China Institute in America today announced the first annual award of the new China Institute Culinary Center with a celebration honoring three Chinese American master chefs who have made outstanding contributions in the field of Chinese cuisine. In the meanwhile, six social media creators were honored as “Digital Icons” for their contribution to broaden the understanding and awareness of Asian cuisine.

Located on the ground floor of the Institute’s 100 Washington Street headquarters, the Culinary Center will uniquely illuminate the intricacies and artistry of authentic Chinese cuisine. At its heart will be a professional kitchen that will support a broad range of programs including Chinese cuisine festivals, curated dinners, expert-led lectures, workshops, and etc. by visiting master chefs from around the country and China, and more. The mission of the China Institute’s Culinary Center is to celebrate and elevate the art of Chinese cuisine.

China Institute Culinary Award

Chef Peter Chang

Chef Peter Chang came to the United States from his native China in 2001, when he was appointed chef for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. He opened the first of his string of highly acclaimed Peter Chang restaurants across the American Southeast in 2011. His flagship location in Bethesda, Q., by Peter Chang, debuted in 2017. Chang launched his Michelin-listed Washington, D.C. location in 2022.

Chef George Chen

As a leading restaurateur, entrepreneur, and luminary in the culinary arts, Chef George Chen has developed highly acclaimed restaurants in both China and in the United States over the last three decades. In 2017, he broke new ground in the field as the creator of San Francisco’s mega-food emporium China Live Complex including Cold Drinks Bar and Eight Tables by George Chen.

Chef Martin Yan

Chef Martin Yan is a James Beard Foundation 2022 Lifetime Achievement award winner and a culinary advisor to China Institute in America. Since 1978, Chef Yan has starred in 3,500 episodes of cooking and travel television shows and authored 34 cookbooks that have championed Chinese cuisine and broadened the American palate. Chef Yan has heightened America’s awareness of and appreciation for Chinese cuisine for more than four decades as host of the Yan Can Cook PBS television program. Today, Chef Yan travels the world as a cultural ambassador, sharing with all, whether home cooks or top chefs, his unique humor and passion for Chinese cooking.

Digital Icon Award

Earlier this year, China Institute introduced its “Digital Icon Award,” dedicated to those in the Asian American community who have excelled as social media creators in the digital space. As a part of the annual award, creators including Xiao Ma (@xiaomanyc), Alice Sun (@alicecsun), Jean Lee (@jeaniuseats), Vivian (@lavivienyc), Julian (@mubereats) and Karissa (@karissaeats) were once again honored for their contribution to broadening the understanding and awareness of Asian cuisine. This recognition highlights the evolving landscape of influence and success, celebrating those at the forefront of innovation and creativity.

China Institute Culinary Center will be a highlight of the Institute programming and teachings: connecting people and communities together through food and cultural education. The long-term goal of the center is to perpetuate the knowledge of the authentic Chinese cooking through cooking classes and a professional cooking school.

“We are thrilled to announce the annual award of our new Culinary Center, which embodies our commitment to enriching the understanding of Chinese culture,” said Yue-Sai Kan, Co-Chair of the Board of China Institute. “As the first ever Chinese food and cultural center of its kind run by a non-for-profit organization, we believe this will be another steppingstone in the cultural exchange journey between China and the U.S.”

CEO of China Institute, George S. Geh said, “We are extremely grateful for the generous support from our trustees, members and donors, especially our Co-Vice Chair Sophia Sheng. Because of her vision, dedication and support, China Institute Culinary Center is of today now a reality. It will help elevate Chinese cuisine in the country and connect people through shared experiences in food. It is part of China Institute’s mission to bridge the American and Chinese people.”

About China Institute in America
Founded in New York City in 1926 by American educators John Dewey, Paul Monroe, and Chinese scholars Hu Shi (胡適) and Kuo Ping-Wen (郭秉文), China Institute in America is an internationally-renowned U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to deepening the world’s understanding of China through programs in art, business, culinary, culture, and education. China Institute in America has played an important role in U.S.-China relations that continues today. China Institute in America is located at 100 Washington Street, New York, NY 10006. To learn more, please visit Follow us on LinkedIn: Like us on Instagram:


Media Contact: Emma Wu
Phone: 212.744.8181 Ext. 125

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