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How to be a Proud Master Chef and Cook for Celebrities

31 May

     “In short order, the number of Tell’s celebrity friends and acquaintances expanded.  Among them was Yul Brynner, the actor born in Russia and educated in China, who performed The King and I more than 4,200 times.  He was a demanding guest with a penchant for one particular type of Washington State apple, which Tell took the trouble to find and keep on hand for him.  Princess Margaret, the unpretentious Royal—her only peccadillo was fresh mint in her red wine—who found Tell’s storytelling as charming as his cooking, said, ‘Whatever you would like to cook for me would be well-suited to me, Chef.’

” Tell’s days at the Barclay were numbered, however.  The relationship between Tell and the General Manager of the hotel broke down over minor disagreements, which lead to one incident that gave management reason to part ways with Tell.

“’I walk through the dining room in my chef’s uniform, and this is the greatest disgrace that ever happened in the history of the Barclay.’

“Tell was particularly proud of his uniform, ‘If I walk around like this, people think I’m a doctor because I’m dressed all on white, and they see a thermometer sticking out of my short pocket. It’s a meat thermometer.  And I go everywhere in my uniform.  If people don’t like it: tough.  Somebody calls me to a party, wants me to come over for an hour, I go dressed like this.  I drive to work like this. I move around like this.  I shop like this.  I am a chef, this is my uniform—this is a part of me.'”

(excerpted from Chapter 20 of “CHEF TELL The Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef,” forewords by TV hosts Regils Philbin and Chef Walter Staib. [Skyhorse Publishing, NYC])

BUY THE BOOK!

author at Barnes & Noble Booksellers Signing Event

CHEF TELL Lifetime Discussed on PCN-TV

5 May

pcn-tvLate in April 2014, the author of the biography, CHEF TELL The Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef, Ronald Joseph Kule, visited the Philadelphia bureau of PCN-TV (Pennsylvania Cable Network-TV) to tape a show segment of PA BOOKS, at the request of network President and CEO, Brian Lockman.

Another guest participated: Chef Walter Staib. Staib, proprietor of Philadelphia’s iconic City Tavern, who wrote one of two forewords to the biography — the other is by TV host Regis Philbin — was a friend of (the late) Chef Tell (Friedemann Paul Erhardt).

The author had asked Chef Staib to come to the taping to add historical perspective to the commentary, and he did not disappoint, also bringing anecdotes and fresh strudel for the whole crew. (Staib is the host of the Emmy-winning TV series, A Taste of History.)tj-walter261x362

During the hour-long taping, host Lockman interviewed Kule about his book, why he wrote it, and what it was like to research and write about such a renowned chef. Turns out that Kule was the late chef’s brother-in-law. He shared an anecdote about a breakfast that inspired him to write the book, as well as several other facts about the chef, including some of his famous quips.

40 MILLION BABY BOOMERS

Baby Boomer Philadelphians, a part of Tell’s fan base of 40,000,000 avid viewers, will remember watching Chef Tell on TV-show segments of Dialing for Dollars and Evening Magazine, and his guest chef appearances on the Mike Douglas Show, The Dinah Shore Show, the John Davidson Show and the Merv Griffin Show, among others. He was the chef who boasted he was the “fastest chef with knives in the East and the West” — a status he proved on one of his many appearances on LIVE! with Regis & Kathie Lee, by handily breaking the record for preparing and cooking a five-course meal… in under five minutes!

Chef Tell Manor HouseTell’s signature sign-off, “I SEE YOU!” was a household phrase for the three decades he appeared on television and in numerous live cooking demonstration shows in venues across America.

The book, CHEF TELL The Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef, published by New York City’s Skyhorse Publishing, came out in October 2013, in hard cover, audiobook and eBook formats. Books are available through Barnes & Noble Booksellers, other store retailers, and online. Kule has garnered all five-star reviews to date.

The place to order author-signed, hard-cover editions for gifting is the author’s website. Included in the book are new Chef Tell recipes, as well as a DVD offer for Chef Tell cooking shows.

Barnes & Noble Booksellers Signing Event

Barnes & Noble Booksellers Signing Event – Author & wife.

PCN-TV’s PA BOOKS will air the one-hour show about the Chef Tell biography on Sunday, June 15, at 9:00 p.m.

YOUR COMMENTS AND REPLIES ARE WELCOME HERE (BELOW).

© 2014 by Ronald Joseph Kule and KuleBooks LLC. All Rights Reserved.

CHEF TELL America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef, favorite of Baby Boomers

19 Mar

“Before Julia… before Wolfgang, Paul, Emeril, Jacques, Bobby, Mario, Gordon, Rachel, Jamie, Martin, James, Charlie, Thomas, Anthony, Alex and Cat* there was… Chef Tell!

‘Tell started all this television madness about chefs.’ – Regis Philbin

(* Julia Child, Wolfgang Puck, Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse, Jacques Pepin, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali, Gordon Ramsey, Rachel Ray, Jamie Oliver, Martin Yan, James Scott, Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller, Anthony Bourdain, Sara Moulton, Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and Iron Chef Cat Cora)

“FIVE STARS. FASCINATING, HARD TO PUT DOWN”
“It 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 pioneer TV chef showman, it’s a series of word pictures that ties together the complexities of each aspect of Chef Tell’s life and career. It’s a “Must Read” for all Foodies especially aspiring TV cook or chef.”  — Chef Charles Knight

 

A Chef’s Life

11 Mar

I had come to the conclusion that no one else was going to write about the life of Chef Tell Erhardt and that I better do something about that. Not sure it was a worthy endeavor, because family and friends I’d met were in opposite camps about the man: some loved him, and others hated him, I wanted to research the facts and decide for myself. The easiest pretext was to work under the guise of writing his biography.

Research unraveled a few facts right away.

Friedemann Paul Erhardt, as his family and cohorts knew him, was the first syndicated television chef of nationwide prominence in America. He earned the job by winning an audition held in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square park in 1974.

Stepping up to the camera without script or props, Tell ad-libbed  a cooking demonstration, and the producers liked what they saw enough to give him the contract. When asked what might be his TV moniker, he quipped, “Eh, just call me ‘Chef Tell’.” Since childhood he’d been nicknamed “Tell” after performing the role of Wilhelm Tell in school plays.

Simple enough.

Syndicated television in those heady days of the industry could make someone a star in weeks. Such was the case when the newly minted Chef Tell hit the airwaves and millions of people saw him on their rabbit-eared, black and white TV screens: within weeks, millions of viewers started a commentary on the swarthy 6’3″ chef with a German accent as thick as his horseshoe moustache. His quick food tips, rapier-like quips, and the skilled flashes of his fast-moving knives had caught their attention, although roughly half of the viewers loved what they saw — his segment lasted only 90 seconds — and couldn’t get enough of him; the other half complained about not being able to understand him through his heavily German-accented English.

After all, it had only been two years before that a former Miss Philadelphia, Janet Louise Nicoletti, invited him to come to America after she became his fiance. The only person with whom he spoke comfortably at the time was Nicoletti, since he didn’t know English.

In no time, thousands of recipe requests rained on unsuspecting TV station mail-room departments.As the media struggled to handle the deluge, which had mounted to a steady 10,000 or more weekly, Chef Tell’s image traveled from region to region, picking up more and more Baby Boomer fans along the way. Soon, Tell was on tour for months at a time, conducting cooking demonstrations in large public venues, and making live television and radio appearances. His popularity spread like wildfire. He was even mobbed at airports.

Chef Tell was, in fact, America’s first “Rock-Star” chef. He was also a real chef, named Germany’s “1970 Chef of the Year” the same year he passed his final cooking-school exams and led his team of six chefs to the Gold Medal at Germany’s Cooking Olympics.

Goldmedaille 001His personal signature dish, Schweinepfeffer Mit Spaetzle, also won the Gold Medal.

But I digress.

In December of 2011, my sister, Bunny Erhardt, now a widow since Chef had passed away in 2007, acceded to my request for access to her friends and acquaintances, and permission to write Tell’s biography.

Embarking on my quest to discover whether this man was worthy of my time as an author or not, I developed a three-part outline loosely fitted to the early-, middle- and latter-years of his lifetime — a beginning, middle and end to the story, if you will.  As data gathered on my desk and on my sheets of papers surrounding my work area, I fit these into the corresponding sections of that outline. Eventually, a timeline list of major events took shape, which would become my main guide to my work.

As people’s names popped up within the information about Tell’s life story, I jotted these down and notched a mark each time the same name appeared. The list soon directed me to certain individuals who would become subjects of interviews I hoped to conduct for personal anecdotes and to qualify some of the data which, in some instances, added up to conflicting accounts.

In other words, fact and fiction overlapped more than a few times — not that the proverbial “truth is stranger than fiction” was happening, but either the subject of my book had lied to the press, or journalists had researched their article facts poorly or not at all. The toughest part of my work in researching this book was sifting the actual facts from the widespread panoply of continued falsehoods among articles, media interviews and the chef himself!

1975 officeTell

My first in-person interview came in Philadelphia in the administrative office of Georges Perrier, a contemporary of Chef Tell and one of the Top Five premier French chefs in America. Truthfully? I had never conducted a live interview with anyone before as a writer. Sure, I had met and sold many business executives in the financial and healthcare industries in my previous incarnation for the last 18 years — working in marketing sales internationally, but this was my first interview with my “Author” hat on my head.

The questions asked were never a part of my notes. Perrier had agreed only to 15 minutes at first — not much time to request more than a simple, “Tell me, chef, what was important about Chef Tell?” If any more time passed, I would wing it, follow my instincts.

Perrier was a wonderful interview. He waxed on about his friendship with Tell, and I wrote highlights on my pad of paper, letting my small recorder capture the actual phrases and nuanced details for later playback. I prodded infrequently and only to let Perrier loose. In the end, the clock had flown by for over an hour, and we were hugging, perhaps with a hint of tears in our eyes — he had not known that Nicoletti had overdosed years earlier. His summation of the woman said it all succinctly, “Mon dieu, I did not know this. I knew this woman; she was simply tall, bright and beautiful.”

Downstairs, having had to shell out a twenty-dollar bill to retrieve my rented car from the union-run, Philly parking garage, I made a mental note to bring enough change to feed the street parking meters at all future interview meetings. I also rewarded myself that evening with an authentic Philly cheesesteak sandwich, figuring that would be the worst of my gauntlet of interviews I would have to pass through toward completion of this book.

Philly cheesesteaks

I was on my way, proud that I had struck out on this course, because Perrier, a man at the top of his profession — the same one as Chef Tell’s — had confided in me two significant morsels: “Chef Tell was a giant of a man. I miss him. I loved him,” and “You know, maybe I’ll have you write my biography, because I like you. But, of course, it would be a very naughty book!” (His remark made us both laugh, which further broke the ice between us, making for a more intimate repartee from that point; also giving me reason to reply, “Georges, perhaps you should wait until you read my book on Tell; you may not think I can write a book well.”)

Each interview and turn of the discoveries unearthed in my quest to find out if I would love or hate the man who was Chef Tell, pushed the work inexorably toward a completion. The details, however, will have to wait for the next installments of this blog.  Sprinkled among them will be never-released, new Chef Tell recipes that Baby Boomers and cooks of all ages will want to prep and cook in their kitchens.

To ensure you receive the next installments, please comment and follow this blog site.

© 2014 by Ronald Joseph Kule and KuleBooks LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Video

Author Ronald Joseph Kule Reads Chef Tell Biography Chapter

10 Feb

The author reads from “CHEF TELL The Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef” from Ronald Kule on Vimeo.

To purchase author-signed copies of the hard-cover book use this link.

 

© 2014 by Ronald Joseph Kule and KuleBooks LLC. Reserved.

Chef Biography Baby Boomer Food for Thought

27 Jan

1943 stuttgart marketplace

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.

cropped-chef-tell-cover-photo.jpg

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.

Book Details:

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/

Chef Tell in Grand Cayman Islands

Chef Tell operated Chef Tell’s Grand Old House on Grand Cayman Island in the 1980’s.

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:

http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1820-ronald-joseph-kule

New book tells story of America’s pioneer TV showman chef

16 Jan

New book tells story of America’s pioneer TV showman chef ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Before people like Martha Stewart and Emeril became TV stars, there was Chef Friedemann Paul Erhardt, later known as Chef Tell. He’s remembered as being America’s first celebrity showman chef, and his nationally-run show was produced by our station. Now, Chef Tell’s story is being told for the first time, thanks to author Ronald Joseph Kule. He sat down with WFMZ’s Eve Tannery to tell us about his book. CLICK HERE to buy Kule’s book or the Chef Tell DVD’s CLICK HERE for information on Ronald Kule’s book-signing on 1/14 in Radnor

Read more from WFMZ.com at: http://www.wfmz.com/news/new-book-tells-story-of-chef-tell-americas-pioneer-tv-showman-chef/-/121458/23920100/-/cp0fp3z/-/index.html
Connect with us! Facebook/69WFMZ or @69News

Christmas Gift Idea: 5-Star eBook, Audiobook and Hard Copy Book: Chef Tell Biography

22 Dec

Each Christmas season, like most chefs, Chef Tell worked his a** off. However, after the holiday was done, every year, he went out and bought all of the newest cookbooks in bookstores and online… and proceeded to study them to stay up with the latest technologies and trends. Additionally, he studied culinary reference books from libraries to sharpen his skills constantly.

Thus, Chef Tell became an “overnight success” in America: the most popular TV chef of his time with a fan base of 40,000,000 Baby Boomers — about eight times larger than Julia Child’s. According to TV host Regis Philbin, “Chef Tell started all this television madness about chefs.”

Iron Chef Cat Cora wrote, “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.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer  food writer, Elaine Tait, wrote, “Chef Tell is America’s Paul Bocuse, and the only TV chef whose food always tastes good.”

To know more about this German-American iconic personality, and his fascinating life story of overcoming one obstacle after another, go to any online site and pick up a copy of his biography in either hard copy, eBook or audiobook format. Here are some links for those:
http://bit.ly/168KfX8 for the audiobook
http://bit.ly/156n6oQ for Barnes & Noble hard copies
http://amzn.to/15MSoAV for amazon eBook

CHEF TELL The Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef by Ronald Joseph Kule, forewords by Regis Philbin and Chef Walter Staib, is 452 pages with 70 photos and seven NEW recipes, and contains a DVD offer for home cooks to watch Chef Tell teach cooking different cuisine dishes right on your TV, computer or media player.

FOR AUTHOR-SIGNED COPIES OF THE HARD-COPY BOOK go to the author’s website.

 

Chef Tell Biography Gains Five-star Attention of Baby Boomers

14 Dec

Since its release on October 1, 2013, the biography of Chef Tell — CHEF TELL The Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef by Ronald Joseph Kule, forewords by TV hosts, Regis Philbin and Chef Walter Staib — has been steadily gaining the attention and approval of Baby Boomers worldwide. Posted reviews by readers are all rated five-star, and the book’s new recipes are welcomed in home kitchens throughout America and other countries.

“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. This is a testament of the human spirit.”—Tracy Repchuk, #1 Amazon.com Best Selling Author and Top Woman Speaker in the World Online Business Strategy, California

“The story you have 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 Kule uses his words to paint a picture that makes me wish I was there in Philly during Chef Tell’s 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 & 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.’

“My 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. He took grew up in the coal region till he went to World War II, 1941 through 1945, and then, later, was posted in Korea.” — Sharon Dacey, Actress, Pennsylvania.

“… just finished Tell’s book and I must say the author really nailed his story. And what a storied life he led… 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’… loved the way it all tied 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 and 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 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.'” — Tony Baarda, Producer, New Jersey & New York

“Ronald Joseph Kule owes me THREE NIGHTS: I couldn’t put his 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… when 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.

“The author has successfully captured and portrayed the essence of how famous this guy was – what a rags-to-riches story.” – J.H., police officer, New York City.

“Fans of the Cooking Channel, as well as those who make cooking their profession, may find this book the perfect companion to their morning coffee. It opens the door to the rarified world of high-end 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 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 to rise to their current positions. And, until now, we hadn’t heard the story of the person on whose shoulders they are standing: 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 relationships above and beyond presentations of consistently delectable dishes in whatever profession we have chosen.

“For those who wish 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, Florida

Followed by a national entourage of 40,000,000 Baby Boomer fans — far more than Julia Child’s, Chef Tell (Friedemann Paul Erhardt) blazed a trail for all of the television chefs appearing on the medium today. He spearheaded the “television madness of chefs today.” (Regis Philbin)

The life story of this man weaves a thread through the hearts and souls of all people, because each of us carries a dream inside, which we want to see come to fruition. Life is hard. There are obstacles and opposition that challenge our reaching for our goals. Yet, in the end, his struggles renew our personal hope and deliver an important message: we CAN ALL achieve anything, if we persist, keep our dreams alive, and never give up until we win.

CHEF TELL The Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef is available in bookstores and online everywhere, in hard-cover, eBook and Audiobook formats. 432 pages, 70 photos, NEW Chef Tell recipes, and a Chef Tell DVD offer. Published by Skyhorse Publishing, New York City.

Author-signed, hard-cover copies are available at https://KuleBooks.myShopify.com.

Copyright 2013 by Ronald Joseph Kule and KuleBooks LLC. All Rights Reserved.

celebrity chefs remember Chef Tell

15 Nov

“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. Author Ronald Joseph Kule did an impeccable job bringing to life Chef’s humor and passion for food,” wrote Iron Chef Cat Cora about the recently released biography of the American culinary icon.

“The culinary atmosphere in Tell’s time, unlike the competitiveness that exists today, was one of great cooperation among chefs. That ambiance was created among his peers and his audiences by Chef Tell, who made cooking fun,” wrote Chef Walter Staib, TV host of the PBS series, A Taste of History.

“Chef Tell etait une speciale, homme tres special.” (“Chef Tell was a special, a very special man.”) Acclaimed and honored French chef ,Georges Perrier, commented in an interview regarding his friend.

“I saw how everyone seemed to know Tell and how they treated him respectfully. I got my first taste of the celebrity lifestyle up close and personal and I was impressed,” said Executive Chef John Barrett of the Black Bass Hotel in Lumberville, Pennsylvania, then hired by Tell to work in his newly acquired Manor House restaurant and then invited to accompany him on a trip to a friend’s wedding on Grand Cayman Island. He continued, “Tell is a chef’s chef, someone I wanted to work with.”

Wherever Chef Tell ventured he worked cooperatively with his peers. In the early days of his cooking career as a lowly apprentice he had the backs of his contemporaries when their mentors got too out of line or kicked one of them too hard. In fact, given the opportunity one afternoon, Tell “accidentally” locked inside of a walk-in freezer the group’s fiercest executive chef just to give him a taste of his own medicine and to recover a morsel of respect for all of the other apprentices. That day may have witnessed the young Tell’s first standing ovation for work accomplished in the kitchen.

Chef Tell was royalty to the best of his contemporaries. The renowned chef David Bouley stepped up to the plate when Chef Tell walked into Bouley in Manhattan with a large group eager to have lunch there. Disregarding other celebrity diners seated nearby, Bouley personally took Tell’s order of several entrees for the entire party and then prepared the foods and delivered them himself, including one of his distinctive desserts.

If Tell’s brand of celebrity status to this date has been missed by younger generations, it is only because his life story has not seen the light of day in modern publications, until the release of his biography which is beginning to fill the vacuum of Chef Tell’s absence. Here and there, people are remembering the tall German chef and reading his story, which is capturing the minds and hearts — even the palates, since there are recipes in the book — of younger readers. From a 40’s-Something reader, “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. His biography successfully captures and portrays the essence of how famous this guy was — what a rags-to-riches story!”

As more celebrity chefs find the time to read about the chef who blazed the television trail on which they stand, the kudos come in, agreeing with legendary TV host Regis Philbin, “I think there’s a little bit of sizzling here. Honestly, I can feel it. The ions are flying back and forth… it’s a shame he’s not with us now, but his memory lives on with this book.”

 

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