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5-Star Christmas Gift: a Book, a Biography, Recipes and Life Lessons

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.

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

Giving Back with Chef Tell

29 Sep

When I sat down at the dining table in Chef Tell’s house in 2004, I did not know what his cooking would taste like.  He had insisted upon making me breakfast, even though it was only about six in the morning.

He told me, “I will cook you breakfast; it’s no trouble,” despite my attempts to decline his initial offer. Eventually the futility of telling a master chef that you didn’t want to trouble him with making you breakfast, seeped into my foggy brain, so I shut up and  waited.

“Do you like ‘frittata‘,” he asked. Not waiting for my answer, he had the fresh ingredients selected and cooking in the pan before I could change my mind.

Vaguely guessing that I knew what a frittata was — some kind of a quiche, I thought — I replied, “Sure” and let it be. I would find out soon enough not only if I liked frittata, but if I liked Chef Tell’s rendition of the dish.

Within seconds, the aroma of fresh garden vegetables mixed with eggs and fresh herbs of his choice filled the adjoining kitchen and our nostrils. Within minutes, two plates of the finished dish were placed before both of us.

Tell was that fast in the kitchen.

“Bunny tells me you are on a business trip…” he steered the conversation.  Over the course of about forty-five minutes we talked about his marriage to my sister, business matters, living on the road, food (of course) and selling (what I did) — whatever easily came to mind for a world-class chef and a nationally recognized salesman.

If you had been there watching us, you would have seen two men talking over breakfast, but more went on than met the eye. A rapport and communion of souls emerged over those eggs and vegetables; some kind of spiritual connection that just never departed.

I knew, for my part, that our conversation made me feel like he really cared about me. I had heard that he had a way of making his acquaintances feel important, which was true.  He deflected the spotlight away from him and onto others because, as I discovered later in my research of the man’s life, he was intensely interested in learning as much as he could about people and the things they did.

Chef Tell was more than a sponge for knowledge. He gave back to the communities and circles that he moved in, often delivering new versions of what he had encountered earlier; that was his style. His outside-the-box renditions played more like anecdotes, and he let you take or leave his words as you chose.

What he took in, he shared in the spirit of education and entertainment.  His gift was to teach that way. Combining elements of show business with the tenets of basic cooking made for better television and interesting live food demonstrations at the many road shows where he appeared over several years. They also made for a fascinating biographic story.

The thought occurs to me now that others who met him briefly, perhaps more briefly than my one breakfast with him, might also have walked away with that same feeling of importance.  I guess you could call it more correctly a “confidence.”  Chef Tell instilled confidence. He put a little bounce in your step, which, though you might not have expected it, might come in handy one day in a crisis. Kind of like the Pied Piper, he left bits of information gleaned from harvested relationships he gathered along his pathway through his lifetime on this earth.

Reflecting back on the last 30 months of my life devoted almost solely to research and writing his biography  gives me a new jolt of that confidence he instilled in me. I sense a peaceful satisfaction at having accomplished a new level of exposure for each of our lives, which is making me feel closer to this man.

While Chef Tell’s story will reveal to his legions of Baby Boomer fans more about the man than they ever knew, it will also expose my professional and personal life to the same kind of  public scrutiny that I know he never became accustomed to, yet endured. In ways I have yet to understand, my connection with Chef Tell will draw more deeply from the wells of the different emotions we plumbed together as the book progressed from concept to hard-won words published on paper.

Unfortunately, whatever comes to me from that union might make me miss him even more than I do now. Or at least, miss the opportunities to sit down more than once with Tell and converse with him.

I guess those who read his biography, and I, will just have to make do with what’s left for us in the pantry of our lifetimes before we shove off for new shores.  I guess that also leaves us to fashion our own ingredients into our “Chef’s Specials of the Day,” much the way Chef Tell did: one day at a time.

I wonder what we will make of them, you and I?

Chef Tell hi res cover

© 2014 by Ronald Joseph Kule. Reserved.

Pre-Release Ordering Now In Progress!

1 Apr

The biography of Chef Tell is available for pre-release purchases at special prices offered on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other outlets. The release date is set for October 1, 2013 by Skyhorse Publishing, NYC.

“Chef Tell started all this television madness about chefs.” — REGIS PHILBIN

40,000,000 Baby Boomers made up Chef Tell's fervent fan base

40,000,000 Baby Boomers made up Chef Tell’s fervent fan base

Book Listed for Pre-orders!

24 Mar

CHEF TELL the Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef is now available for pre-orders on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other outlets.  The release will be October 1, 2013.  Pre-ordering is available now at special prices offered by each retailer.

About Chef Tell’s biography

20 Nov

Before Wolfgang, Emeril, Paul, Jacques, Bobby, Mario, Rachel & Sara, there was …

CHEF TELL

This blog was started to remind Baby Boomer fans of the late Chef Tell, who in the 1970’s and 1980’s was the first true “rock-star” chef in America.  He was mobbed at airports and public venues wherever he appeared to perform his infamously entertaining cooking demonstrations.  From Women’s Shows to PM Magazine and Evening Magazine segments, The Dinah Shore Show, The John Davidson Show, The Merv Griffin Show, The Mike Douglas Show and numerous appearances on LIVE! with Regis & Kathie Lee — even Robin Leach’s Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous  … Chef Tell was America’s most pioneering TV celebrity chef from coast-to-coast!

If you remember Chef Tell, you can post comments and anecdotes to share with other fans here.  This is the official blog for the forthcoming biography of Chef Tell, forewords by Emmy-winning TV hosts, Regis Philbin and Chef Walter Staib (PBS, A Taste of History).

copyright 2012 by KuleBooks LLC.  All Worldwide Rights Reserved.

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