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why is ming tsai selling the aero knife?

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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.

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  1. Because they are paying him.

    8 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      You beat me to it.

      1. re: mrbigshotno.1

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

      2. re: ipsedixit

        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

          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

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

            1. re: ritabwh

              This one shows up once in a while on the Cooking Channel...
              Easy Chinese
              http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/shows...

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

              1. re: ritabwh

                And www.cookingchanneltv.com/shows/luke-n...

                I LOVE that one!

                He has a new one.

                www.cookingchanneltv.com/shows/luke-n...

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

                http://www.pbs.org/food/shows/kimchi-...

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

                www.pbs.org/food/shows/

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

                www.cookingchanneltv.com/chefs/chriss...

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

                1. re: Shrinkrap

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: bbqboy

              **Shudder**

            2. 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

                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

                  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

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

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      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:
                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/aeroknif...
                      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.
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOQtOK...
                      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

                        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

                      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

                        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. 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

                        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

                          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

                            "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

                              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

                                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

                            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. 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. 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

                                do you mean the Acti Fry?

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  Yep, that's it.

                                  1. re: Atomic76

                                    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

                                      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. 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

                                  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.