The Fork

The Fork: Three things we wish we knew before we got an air fryer

Fry times

Here’s a hill on which we’ll gladly die: Microwaves suck so much.

We think this comes down to the type of home in which you grew up, but Maman Fourchette hated them, so we never had one—which is how we know that the oven is better. Oh, we’d go to our friends’ houses where they’d be like, “Hey, do you want a sandwich that we can microwave in order to melt the cheese? It’ll be the soggiest fucking thing you’ve ever eaten in your life!” Or they’d be like, “Hey, what if we nuke this frozen burrito so it becomes a dense ice ball wrapped in a tortilla that feels like molten lava to the touch?”

And icy they were.

And soggy they were.

And sad were we.

And so did the cycle repeat ad nauseam throughout time until we were brave enough to decline the soggy sandwich and icy burritos. “No thanks,” we’d say, “your microwave is trash.”

So imagine our anxiety surrounding the rise of the air fryer in recent years. Was it another microwave thing that actually sucked huge despite its promise of a better way? Or was it the sort of countertop awesomeness in which one can actually make crispy fries and we wasted a bunch of time with listless, flaccid fries? Why were we so obsessed with fries suddenly? And why, if fries are available pretty much any place, do we need to make them at home so badly? As it turns out, we were wrong in comparing the air fryer to the microwave, and now we love our Ninja Foodi 7-in-1 Dual Zone FlexBasket with 11-quart MegaZone, baby!

And no, it’s not just because we love the ‘90s-ness of a term like “MegaZone” or because the product name itself has roughly the same word count as War and Peace—we love it because it makes food good, and that’s all we ever think about anymore. Thus? Check out three things we wish we’d known about air fryers before now below.

*Please note this isn’t a paid advertisement in any way; we just like the thing and it’s rare we give enough of a shit about a product to tell anyone and we just kind of didn’t know what to do with those feelings, so you get to hear them. Huzzah!

Stuff Actually Gets Crispy

We don’t know if you’ve tried to make fries yourself in, like, an oven, but it sucks and they’re never crispy. Same goes for things like flautas, homemade Crunchwraps and anything else for which you’d like to have a satisfying snap. That Ninja (which is actually kind of loud, being the opposite of what ninjas are all about) has not only circumvented this issue at The Forktress of Solitude, it has opened up a new world of recipe options.

Our Gut Seems Better

Now, we say “seems” because we’re not a nutritionist, we’re just saying that anything we’ve made in there takes a spritz or two of olive oil or avocado oil rather than a stovetop situation that would practically require us to drown whatever we were making in oil. This is all about targeted hot air, baby, rather than oil immersion, and we’ve felt the difference in our gut health, no lie.

This Thing Gives Off Less Heat—Just in Time for Summer

Our Ninja (not to be confused with our ninja, lower case—as in the stealth warrior who does our bidding) only takes up a little bit of space on the counter and, unlike our oven, doesn’t turn the house into a sweltering nightmare zone that practically transforms us into a sweaty Tennessee Williams character with a penchant for liquored-up lemonade and a hand fan. It’s also pretty quick, too, and has that aforementioned MegaZone feature (which is really just a little divider that lets you cook two different things in different ways at once. That’s convenient and, again, opens up recipe possibilities.

In summation, we wasted a lot of time dogging on our dumb friends for having these, but we were wrong; not about our friends being dumb (they are), but about the air fryer. In other words, consider this a recommendation. But what about you, readers? Any air fryer fans have tips, tricks or recipes? We’re going to try some baking, as it were, and heard that air fryers might be the best grilled cheese sandwich makers since Maman Fourchette. Drop us a line at if you’d like to share any info.

We didn’t fact-check this video so much as we saw it contained footage from one of the Ninja Turtles movies, at which point we were like, “Seems legitimate.”


  • Word on the street is that soon-to-open restaurant Escondido from chef Fernando Ruiz is gearing up for a big announcement about opening dates, menu jazz and so forth. In case you’d forgotten, Ruiz announced his partnership for a new restaurant with former Meow Wolf CEO Vince Kadlubek two years ago. The idea, they said, was pretty much dope-ass tacos. We’ve been champing at the bit for them tacos since then, and should have specifics in about one week from the day this edition of Le Fork drops (being May 2). To tide you over, how about a recipe from Ruiz himself as featured in an award-winning SFR story from 2022? PS: You’ll find some other killer recipes from local chefs through that link.
  • Fancy-schmancy country club The Club at Las Campanas announced via Facebook that its executive sous chef Ryan Turcotte is moving on to a full-on executive chef position elsewhere. Though the post doesn’t mention where Turcotte is headed, it does point out that The Club has an opening for an executive sous chef, for which interested parties can apply at
  • Now that we’re into May, we feel pretty good about letting all y’all know that the 15th Annual Crawdaddy Blues Fest is right around the corner on May 18 and 19 at and around Madrid’s Mine Shaft Tavern. It’s a pretty great name for an event that’s about eating crawdaddies and listening to blues—but know there will be BBQ and booze and all kinds of other happenings. We’ll remind you again, but maybe put it on your calendar so you can look into things like costs, shuttles, etc.
  • We also wanted to remind you that last week’s food coverage featuring a number of up-and-coming local food folks was pretty much awesome. If you’ve yet to get to any of the places listed therein, you’re missing out. Cheers to you, chefs Jordan Isaacson, Sarah Keats, Erica Tai, Jeff Ozawa and Kate Holland! As if that’s not enough, you could also check out SFR’s 2024 Santa Fe Restaurant & Bar Directory, which slaps and smacks and sla-macks some more.
  • Looks like Pizzeria Espiritu went and built itself a new bar within its Midtown location. That means cocktails, for one thing, plus beer and wine and also that amazing Greek pie that everyone everywhere should eat immediately. Presumably there are other pizzas, too.
  • The Ojo Santa Fe spa (which sits in the very same place where defunct high school Desert Academy once stood, which is probably weird for any alumni of that school who book a hot tub in which to make out) is getting into the music game this summer with events from 4-7 pm every Wednesday. In May, you can still catch Nacha MendezLambyStephanie Hatfield and Kenny Crowley (see more from the lineup here). We mention this in The Fork because participants can reportedly expect light bites and drinks while they’re there. Neat!
  • According to this study about Pop-Tarts that exists for some reason, New Mexico’s fave is the Frosted S’mores variety. You can see all the other states’ faves through that link above. We’re also going to link to this American Diabetes Association pdf titled “The Burden of Diabetes in New Mexico” that tells us that more than 200,000 New Mexicans are living with diabetes and 587,000 with pre-diabetes—y’know, for funsies.

From the SFR Vault: Nacha Mendez, live and livin’ large circa 2016.

More Tidbits

  • The James Beard Foundation has announced the nominees for this year’s Media Awards (which includes cookbooks and journalism and broadcast stuff), which you can read about right here. We’d have broken down the list, but it comes down to 8 billion weird things across very specific categories—plus, we’re still lobbying for the foundation to call the award a Beardo, so until they return that phone call, the best they get is a link. Apropos of Beardos and cookbooks, don’t forget that Santa Fe’s own Cheryl Alters Jamison has won, like, four of those bad boys for her cookbooks. Also? She’s America’s sweetheart, as are we—as are you, probably.
  • Candy brand Skittles recently announced it will have a smaller version of its fruity little sugar pellets dubbed “Littles” and, to promote this likely choking hazard, a sweepstakes wherein one winner will get to live in a Skittles-themed apartment in New York City rent-free for a year. For a company to have available housing tied up in a contest seems kind of heartless at this point in the the civilization experiment, but whatevs...y’all aren’t ready to talk that out yet.
  • Lastly in not-local news, Disney World restaurant Victoria & Albert’s has received a Michelin star—the park’s first. Setting aside how the eatery’s pre-fixe menu starts at $300 (which is absurd for most normies and poors, of which your old pal The Fork is at least one), we feel like we’ve heard that name before and...oh, right, it’s an incredibly famous museum in London (the one in England). Pshshshshshshsht, Disney. Buncha biters. Anyway, we’re sticking with three non-local things from now on and you’ve only yourselves to blame.

A totally scientific breakdown of The Fork’s correspondence

In this week’s print edition of SFR, we figured everyone could use a little break from food after last week’s food-heavy issue. Coverage returns next week.

Number of Letters Received: 33

*Many a kind word from our Fork Frenz (TM). Thank you for that.

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader):

“Did I hear some whimpering about how far it is to Ranch House from some people’s homes in SF?...”it sure took a long time to get there”. They must be driving all the way from the Plaza, poor things. Perhaps pack a snack to eat in the car on the way?”

*Surely reader Deb C. must understand that not everyone is always ambulatory or able to leave the house. We choose to believe she was having a rough day, and we forgive her.

Actually Helpful Tip(s):

“Love anytime time someone mentions Loquat! I grew up in a small town in South Georgia and they’re everywhere. We used to call them ‘Japanese plums’. Getting to pick them off the tree is one of the only reasons I will visit Georgia during the hot, humid seasons.”

*Sasha M. pointing out why we all need to get to Georgia ASAP. Side note? If you look up the song “Summer Girls” by LFO, not only will it blow your mind with terribleness, but you’ll learn that girls from Georgia “speak real slow,” whatever that means. We only mention it because it’s so bad it’s good. OK, fine—we’ll link it!

Practically the last Airbender over here with all the air frying we’re doing,

The Fork

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