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why is ming tsai selling the aero knife?

ritabwh Jul 11, 2013 06:47 PM

is it truly "his" knife? i've seen the ads on tv and it's wierding me out. i don't recall seeing him using it on his shows.

  1. ipsedixit Jul 11, 2013 06:54 PM

    Because they are paying him.

    8 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      mrbigshotno.1 Jul 11, 2013 07:43 PM

      You beat me to it.

      1. re: mrbigshotno.1
        davis_sq_pro Jul 11, 2013 07:51 PM

        Damn you both for catching this thread before I did. I wanted to be first :-)

      2. re: ipsedixit
        sunshine842 Jul 11, 2013 08:10 PM

        but boy, things must be tough in Ming's world...all I could think of was "Ginsu".

        ETA: I have a knife very similar to that -- it was being sold as a cheese knife and I think I paid less than $10 for it a couple of years ago. Sad.

        1. re: sunshine842
          ritabwh Jul 11, 2013 08:21 PM

          this makes me very sad. in spite of how "everyone" loves orange chicken. pad thai, broccoli beef, blah blah bah, seems like genuine creative asian cooking (even on pbs) is a fail with the american public. maybe this is why food network does not have an asian cooking show.

          1. re: ritabwh
            mrbigshotno.1 Jul 12, 2013 09:33 AM

            Ming had a good run for a few years, Martin Yan was outstanding, ya can't last forever.

            1. re: ritabwh
              kcshigekawa Jul 12, 2013 11:21 AM

              This one shows up once in a while on the Cooking Channel...
              Easy Chinese

              ETA -- I've enjoyed the episodes I've seen.

              1. re: ritabwh
                Shrinkrap Jul 12, 2013 10:19 PM

                And www.cookingchanneltv.com/shows/luke-nguyens-vietnam.html

                I LOVE that one!

                He has a new one.


                I also liked the one about the Korean woman married to someone famous, a director I think . Nope! Jean-Georges.


                Wow! Check out how pbs varies by state. Guess Kimchi-chronicles isn't on anymore


                And the woman married to John Legend.......


                But it wasn't Asian cooking, so.......yeah...never mind .

                1. re: Shrinkrap
                  C. Hamster Jul 13, 2013 03:28 PM

                  I watched Kimchi Chronicals a couple if days ago. I love that show! I forgot what channel it was on and it was a rerun.

                  The Korean-African American woman is married to Jean George Vongerichten (sp?). Hugh Jackman and his wife are on too.

          2. bbqboy Jul 11, 2013 08:14 PM

            I'm thinking Christopher Kimball bowties in a 30 minute infomercial next.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bbqboy
              nikkihwood Jul 11, 2013 09:40 PM


            2. alliegator Jul 12, 2013 09:35 AM

              I saw it, too. I could only wonder what drove him to it...
              But money makes the world go 'round.

              7 Replies
              1. re: alliegator
                ipsedixit Jul 12, 2013 10:26 PM

                Have you ever used the aero knives?

                Maybe they're good knives, or at least decent ones that Ming thinks are worth the retail As Seen On TV price.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  sunshine842 Jul 13, 2013 05:10 AM

                  it's not an actual Aero knife, but I have a stainless knife with a forked tip and holes in the blade (I bought it at a supermarket in France)

                  It *rocks* as a cheese knife -- the cheese doesn't stick to the blade, allowing you to make nice, straight, even slices, even in sticky cheeses like Brie and raclette, which is what this one was advertised as.

                  Mine is straight-edge, not serrated -- the way the Aero moves through tomatoes, I'm guessing there are some micro-serrations that I'm not seeing on the wide shots.

                  1. re: sunshine842
                    Pwmfan Jul 14, 2013 10:00 AM

                    I have one of these too, purchased many years ago. I agree that it is a great cheese knife.

                    1. re: sunshine842
                      cowboyardee Jul 14, 2013 10:23 AM

                      I don't think it's serrated. For one, they're selling it right along side a carbide sharpener that doesn't work especially well for large serrations, and works quite badly for very small serrations. Also, take a look at this shot of the knife:
                      Looks like a straight edge.

                      Getting a straight edge knife sharp enough to cut a tomato easily isn't as hard as is often thought.
                      That's an expensive knife, but you could do the same thing with a Wusthof, or a $25 forschner, or a $10 Kiwi knife if you sharpened em well. And a knife doesn't have to be nearly so sharp to cut a tomato with a slicing motion (rather than the straight up and down chopping in the video).

                      1. re: cowboyardee
                        Firegoat Jul 15, 2013 07:36 AM

                        I have to admit my favorite knives are some old carbon steel ones I picked up at a garage sale years ago. Sure I have to sharpen them every time I use them, but that's part of the fun.

                    2. re: ipsedixit
                      Firegoat Jul 13, 2013 10:07 AM

                      Exactly. Maybe he's just in it for the money, but maybe it is actually a useful knife and he's getting the money. I have an "as seen on TV" saute pan that I would never have purchased but received as a gift and love it. I would buy more. We all can't have nymphs float down from the excelsior fluff of the heavens and sharpen our pristine 50 year old carbon steel knives every time we want to cut a bag of hamburger helper open.

                      1. re: ipsedixit
                        alliegator Jul 22, 2013 02:52 PM

                        No, never used the knife. Just thought the cheesy way the commercial was made is a little below him, but that's just my opinion.

                    3. C. Hamster Jul 13, 2013 03:33 PM

                      I've met Ming and his wife on several occasions and eaten at Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon and they couldn't have been nicer.

                      I don't know him personally but he is supposedly a totally great guy.

                      He was the first in the food community here to step up to raise money for the Boston Marathon bombing victims.

                      That said, he used to have his own line of ceramic knives. Maybe that's defunct now.

                      As to the Aero Knife... Maybe he didn't get the Tyler Florence/Applebee's memo.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: C. Hamster
                        paulj Jul 13, 2013 03:56 PM

                        His web store http://www.mingspantry.com/kycuun25.html
                        still lists Kyocera ceramics as his favorite knives. You can see him using those white blades on his shows.

                        He has also done ads for the Tefal Actifry.

                        1. re: paulj
                          Phaedrus Jul 17, 2013 01:54 PM

                          I remember the Kyocera knives too and was wondering whether he had stopped selling them on his web site. He used to very subtly plug certain products on his show. The ceramic knives was one and the other one was the induction heated woks. Nothing this overt however.

                          I would think that he is pretty wealthy by now, he really shouldn't need this kind of income, unless it is huge.

                          1. re: Phaedrus
                            linus Jul 17, 2013 04:31 PM

                            "pretty wealthy" is a pretty relative term, and who are we to tell a man how much he should earn?
                            he's got a monthly nut(maybe a large one, maybe not) and he has to make it, just like everyone else.

                            1. re: Phaedrus
                              Bunson Jul 22, 2013 01:45 PM

                              Haha, I remember the Kyocera knives and the induction wok on his website! I actually ended up getting a low end Kyocera ceramic knife, only to drop a bowl on it in the kitchen and have the blade chip.

                              1. re: Bunson
                                Phaedrus Jul 23, 2013 10:39 AM

                                I saw a Kyocera knife set at Williams of Sonoma for $70, and I bought it. It definitely cuts very nicely, no more crushing whatever you wanted to cut before it starts cutting. I had to adjust my technique too, made it a lot easier but kind of spoiled me.

                          2. re: C. Hamster
                            Firegoat Jul 18, 2013 06:04 AM

                            I loved Ming's show on PBS where he would have his relatives on. I know nothing about his style of cooking and I learned a lot. I don't generally go buy something because a celebrity endorses it, but he's certainly extremely likable. I could watch him all day long.

                          3. cowboyardee Jul 14, 2013 10:32 AM

                            As mentioned already, ming tsai has hawked knives before. Why not? He seems to like knives, and it's easy money.

                            I'm no huge fan of the Aero knife, but there are certainly worse products out there. And it's not like they have a big price tag.

                            ETA: the potato test he showed on the video is misleading. With the chef's knife, he chops the potato, straight up and down. With the Aero knife he uses a drawing cut, which always leads to less sticking, regardless of how the knife is made.

                            1. Atomic76 Jul 20, 2013 09:29 PM

                              He was also selling that goofy T-Fal self-stirring pan. I wanted to cringe watching that infomercial - it took him like an hour total cooking time to make a stir fry that you could make in a regular frying pan in just a few minutes.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Atomic76
                                sunshine842 Jul 21, 2013 07:20 AM

                                do you mean the Acti Fry?

                                1. re: sunshine842
                                  Atomic76 Jul 22, 2013 02:20 PM

                                  Yep, that's it.

                                  1. re: Atomic76
                                    sunshine842 Jul 22, 2013 06:40 PM

                                    weird that he'd make a stir-fry in it -- it's marketed as a fatless deep fryer. (and definitely not worth my investment in space or money)

                                    A friend of mine has one and says it makes killer French fries.

                                    1. re: sunshine842
                                      Firegoat Jul 22, 2013 08:20 PM

                                      I have a friend that probably buys everything ever made that was "seen on TV" She gifted me her Flavor Wave oven (convection cooker?) because she bought yet another larger one. I used it one and cooked cornish hens from frozen. It was okay. It just eats a lot of storage space and I haven't used it since. I think if I had kids I might use it more. My corgi has been encouraging me to cook steak.

                              2. b
                                Bradleethedawg Jan 15, 2014 02:11 PM

                                It's lame, and it's unprofessional IMO. He want it both ways - Aspen Food Festival /Blue Ginger / PBS "legit" chef, but fast-money from selling junk on infomercials. It would be one thing of those knives were any good at all, or if he really had something to do with the design of those knives, or if they were any good at all. But they have to be absolute junk - if they can sell two for $10 (plus another $10 in "processing") that means they cost around a buck each. Dollar store junk. There's no way in hell a professional chef of any stripes would use that kind of garbage in the kitchen. Epic, epic FAIL Mr.Tsai.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Bradleethedawg
                                  zoey67 Apr 9, 2014 02:14 PM

                                  I got the knives too and they suck, barely cuts anything.
                                  They’re selling like hotcakes cause of the clearance price and right now Ming is at HSN again this time it’s even a better deal you get 3 Knives with the additional 8″ chefs knife.

                                  It’s not bad really if you take the time to sharpen them before using them or they're worthless. They make great Xmas gifts so I’m buying several sets & his bamboo cutting board which is also only $19.

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