His parents worked their whole lives in a Chinese restaurant so he wouldn’t have to.

Waldo Yan’s parents worked at a Chinese restaurant for years so that he could have a better life, toiling nights, weekends and holidays at a tiny restaurant in the food court of a Rosemead grocery store. Before his mother died two years ago, she begged him from a hospital bed “not to do this work.” But about a year ago, after graduating from UCLA with honors, Yan took over the family restaurant and began to pursue a career as a chef. He makes the food his mother used to make for him, to honor her memory and to prove that he’s made something of himself.