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Jun 1, 2012 12:31 PM

PBS disconnect: Ming Tsai and ATK's opinions of T-Fal Acti-Fry

Tsai appeared on the current events show Greater Boston yesty, purportedly to discuss gadgets for summer cooking. These were, improbably, the blender, the mandoline, a very prominently, the T-Fal Acti-fry, a pricy appliance that sponsors his own show, Simply Ming (as does Wan Ja Shan, whose sauces he also praised conspicuously). The fryer is promoted first and foremost for french fries, though Tsai had cooked a tofu stir-fry in the one he brought to the studio. None of these is a particularly summery tool.

When America's Test Kitchen tested the T-Fal appliance, they trashed it thoroughly, claiming it did a poor job with the potatoes.

Furthermore, the weekly press critique segment of Greater Boston, which is called Beat the Press, just a couple of weeks ago dumped all over NPR Morning Edition for airing an interview with Olympic athlete Kerri Walsh. She is sponsored by Pampers and her comments concentrated on promoting the diaper rather than discussing volleyball. The panelists and host of BTP opined that NPR should not have aired that interview. In that light, Greater Boston is the pot - make that fryer - that called the kettle black.

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  1. PBS. Non-commercial. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Snort!

    As Judge Judy says, don't whiz on my leg and tell me it's raining.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Antilope


      In this battle, I don't have any favorites.
      ATK product reviews are amusing but cover just a small fraction of what's available.
      Celebrity endorsements should be taken with a pinch of ............ strike that, pickled in a barrel of salt. For what, I dunno.

      T-Fal lost all credibility with me 30+ years ago with their crappy non- 'non-stick' cookware.

      Most retail cookware sucks, patronize your local commercial kitchen equipment suppliers.

      1. re: DiveFan

        Tefal goes back to 1954, when a French engineer figured out how to bond Teflon to aluminum.

        1. re: DiveFan

          Oh God I hate our local Sacramento PBS station with a passion. I try to watch Americans Test Kitchen and Cook's Country each week and I'll be damned if 2 weeks out of 3 they preempt the shows with some charlatan with a "Dr" in front of their name selling some touchie-feelie gimmick along with their damned p"BS" beg-a-thons. What a waste of the airwaves and OUR tax dollars. God I hate what p"BS" has become!

          1. re: Antilope

            If you want less of the beg-a-thons, get your congressman to cough up more of OUR tax dollars. Generally less than 20% of station's income comes from CPB.

            If you need a steady diet of cooking shows, look for the CreateTV subchannel. Anouther subchannel, Veme, has Spanish language cooking shows. Otherwise most stations only have cooking on Saturday afternoons - except as you note during pledge drives. The Seattle station has a variation on this 'KCTS cooks', with instudio demos of viewer favorites.

            1. re: paulj

              Exactly, in 2010 CPB received $506M from the federal government or about .00014 percent of the budget.

              1. re: kurtt

                I've solved the problem. I just removed them from the channel lineup on my cable box.

                1. re: Antilope

                  That's one way of reducing the frustration. Are you left with an cooking channels?

      2. You mean this item?
        How dare Ming endorse a product that the gods at ATK did not approve of! Considering the complaints I read about ATK's subscription service, I couldn't care less. I enjoy both shows, but will make my own purchase choices. ATK just finished on CreateTV, Simply Ming is next.

        1. The majority of the people on Amazon seem to like the T-Fal.