Friedemann Paul Erhardt survived a harrowing childhood in post-war Germany, and his mother’s suicide, to endure a Hell’s Kitchen apprenticeship and become Germany’s youngest Master Chef in history in 1970. Two years later, he came to America, and landed the Executive Chef position at the famed Barclay Hotel in Philadelphia.
Winning an open audition for a syndicated TV segment in 1976, he went on to become America’s first “rock-star” TV chef with an active fan base of 40,000,000 Baby Boomers — more than Julia Child. As TV host Regis Philbin put it, “Chef Tell started all this television madness about chefs.”
The Rest of the Story…
The complete and richly detailed, timeless life story of this amazing personality — an American culinary icon, CHEF TELL The Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef, written by Ronald Joseph Kule with forewords by Emmy-winner TV hosts Regis Philbin and Chef Walter Staib, resonates with readers everywhere: posted reviews to date are all five star, including those from several celebrities across different industries.
Baby Boomers and Others Are Raving About this Book:
- “Chef Tell made cooking on TV the new frontier. He did it with humor, a thick German accent and was rather bossy. ‘Let me show you how to cook this,’ he would say. He showed, we learned, we laughed. I am honored to be a part of the book!”—Jan Yanehiro, First Co-Host, Evening Magazine, San Francisco.
- “Tell never forgot that he was the guest … never took over his segments from the host, and that added to his genuineness. While too many people work too hard to ‘be in,’ Tell naturally was ‘on.’ This book gives you so much: a taste of Tell, the person, and his taste for delicious food.”—Art Moore, Executive in Charge of Production for LIVE! with Kelly & Michael, New York City.
- “Chef Tell was a man of great humor and incredible skills in the kitchen. He brought wonderful food to the table as well as love and laughter. The author did an impeccable job bringing to life Chef’s humor and passion for food.”—Iron Chef Cat Cora, Santa Barbara, California.
- “The author’s excellence can be felt in the pulse that beats from within the pages of this book. His work about the late Chef Tell is going to stir more than just a few kitchen pots. I stood back in amazement as Kule took a complex, infuriating, yet ultimately appealing character, and produced one superbly crafted work of literature.” — J. David Miller, Award-winning Author/Sports Journalist/head coach, AAA Semi-pro champion SoCal Coyotes, Rancho Mirage, California.
- “WOW is a great start! This is a wonderful account of one man’s voyage and how in so many ways every reader will connect with something. It is engaging, and takes you through all the emotions of life, leaving you to decide what is next for you, and how you will make the most of your today – it’s a testament of the human spirit.”—Tracy Repchuk, #1 Amazon.com Best Selling Author and Top Woman Speaker in the World Online Business Strategy, Los Angeles, California.
- “The story written is fantastic! I knew Chef Tell as a talented Master Chef and worked as his pastry chef for more than 10 years. This book puts his story together very well.” – Suladda May, Restaurateur, Thai Orchid, Grand Cayman Island.
- “I so love the way the author uses his words to paint a picture. They make me wish I was there in Philly during that heyday, enjoying the camaraderie among chefs. Reading this book really fuels that fire in me. Chef Tell lived an amazing life and truly paved the way for many chefs who followed on TV. A pioneer and true artist, his story is nothing short of inspirational. From living through the bombings of Germany at birth, to bringing about a revival of Philly through five-star restaurants, this is a book every chef and foodie will want to read.” — Shelley Jaffe, Executive Chef and Roving Foodie (www.rovingfoodies.com), New York and Florida.
- “My dad, who is 99 and has the mind of a 25-year-old, reads one to two books a week. I bought him Chef Tell’s biography, and he could not put it down. He said, ‘It is outstanding,’ and ‘… Kule is a very gifted writer.’ Dad knew Chef Tell and was always invited to Tell’s fourth of July parties. Tell enjoyed talking with my Dad, who is of Austrian heritage, grew up in the coal region till he went to World War II, 1941 through 1945, and, later, posted in Korea.” — Sharon Dacey, Pennsylvania.
- “Hey… just finished Tell’s book and I must say Kule really nailed his story. What a storied life Chef Tell lead. He really was a “giant” of a man in many ways. I must admit I had a tear in my eye at the end, and then a few chuckles reading the ‘Last Words.’ I loved the way the author tied it all together for the few people left after the funeral party, who witnessed the huge bonfire and the sparks shooting up to the heavens: that was Tell’s life, and the bonfire was very symbolic. I guess that’s why the Vikings honored their dead leaders/warriors the same way. Of course, the story is the story, warts and all, and I am glad I was a part of it. I feel very honored to have met Tell and got to share in his incredible life. I just wish he was still around, and we could have a few more laughs. Anyway, thanks to the author, Ronald Joseph Kule, for keeping his memory alive and for capturing his ‘story’ so well. I think Tell would have loved this book and been proud to be its ‘star.’ Thanks again for the memories… nice job!” — Tony Baarda, New Jersey.
- “Hey, Kule… you owe me THREE NIGHTS! I couldn’t put your book down!” – John Fleming, opera singer, Florida.
- “Halfway through the book now… Kule has really created something wonderful here that is very hard to put down. I love the short-chapters format. It is great to pick up right where you left it, whenever you can actually tear yourself away, that is. Chef Tell was a larger-than-life figure. I had no idea, because my generation missed him completely, but in my mind I am comparing him to any “rock star” or sports figure around today. Kule has successfully captured and portrayed the essence of how famous this guy was – what a rags-to-riches story.” – J.H., NYPD, New York City.
- “Fans of the Cooking Channel, as well as those who are making cooking their profession, may find this book the perfect companion to their morning coffee. It opens the door to a rarified world—-the high-end of cooking: the rites of passage that make a world-class chef and restaurateur. We watch ‘Chopped’ and all the other cooking shows on TV and hear the famous chefs make their pronouncements regarding the transformations of the contents of mystery baskets. But what we don’t hear is how these judges, and every other Cooking Channel chef, got there: the thousands of hours each one of them spent perfecting their arts, and the unique challenges they overcame in order to rise to their current positions. And until now, we haven’t heard the story of the person whose shoulders they are standing on: the original TV showman chef, Chef Tell. Chef Tell was a chef’s chef, beloved in the world of chefs because he was a big man with a generous heart who could, very simply, cook great food. More than that, he was a man of boundless energy, relentless pursuit of competence and correct discernment of opportunities as they presented themselves. He had the courage of a pioneer, the soul of a teacher and the charisma of a star, which is what he became. Kule’s book shows us a man who rose from nothing, driven by the simple statement of his mother during the dire poverty of wartime: ‘You will never go hungry, if you become a chef.’ The narrative is rich in detail gleaned from interviews with those who knew him personally, without bogging down into a dry recitation of facts. The relationships brought to life in the story give us a real sense of connection with the man himself. Chef Tell shows us that we advance not so much because of the people we know, but because of our ability to create those relationships — above and beyond presenting consistently delectable dishes in whatever profession we have chosen. For those who want to advance in the culinary world, and for those of us who want to appreciate better the labor of love our favorite chefs go through to delight our taste buds and nourish our bodies, this is a good read. FIVE STARS.” — Maggy Graham, Web Designer, Largo, Florida.
- “‘CHEF TELL The Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef’ reads like a real life novel. I was surprised by the excellent writing ability of the author. Not only is it a chronological account of the life of one of the world’s greatest chefs and the pioneer TV showman chef, whom I knew, it’s a series of word pictures that ties together the complexities of each aspect of Chef Tell’s life and career. Kule’s work is a ‘Must Read’ for all Foodies, especially those aspiring TV cooks or chefs. FIVE STARS. FASCINATING, HARD TO PUT DOWN.” — Chef Charles Knight, Tampa, Florida.
Written by the chef’s brother-in-law, who is an internationally published author and poet, this 454-page, hard cover biography arrives with 70 photos, seven NEW RECIPES, and a DVD offer for home cooks to own Chef Tell on-air TV segments in their homes. Published by Skyhorse Publishing of New York City, this meticulously crafted, fascinating story satisfies adult readers on many levels. Also available online in Ebook and audiobook formats. Author-signed copies are available through the author’s web site, http://kulebooks.myshopify.com/
American icons come and go, but their stories live on in the biographies written about them. In the case of Chef Tell, we had only his cookbooks to remind us of his prodigious skills to prep foods, entertain, makes us laugh and teach us how to cook in our kitchens… that is, until now.
Now, with the rest of his story on hand — the real, raw, riveting and ribald adventure that was the lifetime of Friedemann Paul Erhardt, a.k.a. CHEF TELL, we have other pieces of the puzzle to delight us!
About Author Ronald Joseph Kule: