Tag Archives: books as gifts

How a Master Chef Biography Teaches Us Life Lessons

20 Oct

CHEF TELL

A biography is more than a summary of one person’s lifetime; it is a platform for life lessons that are timeless. Friedemann Paul Erhardt’s lifetime rose out of the dying embers of World War II, crossed the skies above two continents, and burned out too soon. The trajectory of this star-crossed ball of fire came with the TV persona “Chef Tell.”

Erhardt’s arc began when a young boy listened to his mother’s advice, “If you become a chef, you will never go hungry.” Later, he sought to cook for the world to share his personal knowledge and love for food. When Erhardt won an audition for a new show concept in the (then) infant days of syndicated television in the early 1970’s, a new category of chefs was born: the “TV Showman Chef.” (A title bestowed by Philadelphia Inquirer food editor and writer, Elain Tait.)

Within weeks, while Julia Child appeared on regional TV, Chef Tell picked up more than 40,000,000 adoring foodie fans across the nation, also performing live cooking demonstrations in public venues to as many as 20,000 people on a weekend.

Suddenly, Chef Tell was famous, overworked and getting rich. It would not be too much to say that Erhardt as Chef Tell was, in fact, America’s first “Rock-Star” chef.

FRESH INGREDIENTS, FRESH TASTE

Chef Tell’s characteristic signature for all of his cooking was twofold:

  1. He only used the freshest possible ingredients, and
  2. his food always tasted good.

As a matter of principle, Erhardt rose before dawn every day to oversee personally the purchase of foods that would be prepared and cooked in his restaurants or on a TV show set. The freshness and quality of his food choices, as well as his kitchen skills and made-for-television, ebullient personality, brought him more appearances than any other chef on the hottest morning TV show in the nation, LIVE! with Regis & Kathie Lee (later known as LIVE! with Regis & Kelly). When Regis Philbin, Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa tried Tell’s freshly prepared food on-air and commented favorably, they were ad-libbing their glowing remarks, not reading prepared scripts. (Most other chefs had their foods prepared for them, instead of selecting fresh ingredients and preparing the foods themselves. The crews dismissed eating their foods but clamored for Chef Tell’s!)

LIFE LESSONS

click photo for author-signed copiesWhile the previous paragraph teases us with merely a taste of Chef Tell’s thrill-ride, celebrity life, the off-camera portions are more satisfying and easily ingested by reading the biography, CHEF TELL The Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef (Forewords by Emmy-winner TV hosts, Regis Philbin and Chef Walter Staib; published by Skyhorse Publishing. 452 pages: hardcover, eBook and AudioBook.)

Readers can discover:

  • how he survived the detritus of post-war living;
  • the discovery of his mother’s lifeless body when he was to begin a three-year, mandatory cooking apprenticeship;
  • the verbal abuses and kitchen projectiles thrown at him as he developed into Germany’s youngest master chef;
  • his life inside an American corporate culinary culture that banished chefs to the confines of their kitchens and discouraged innovation; and
  • the rigors of executive cheffing three restaurants while taping TV shows, making live appearances on TV talk shows and traveling across the country to regale crowds of adoring fans looking for more of his humor and cooking wisdom.

And all of that was just his on-air, on-camera life!

Private Goals

The personal side of Erhardt’s lifetime fascinates readers just as much. There they find the marital bliss and destruction that he faced more than once, and how he emerged mostly unscathed from self-created conflagrations with single women. Through it all, garnering lifelong friendships and overcoming hardships that he had to learn how to master and out-live, Erhardt searched for a long-lasting relationship with one soulmate. And he ended up winning each and every dream he pursued, giving us lessons that we can all use in our quests for happiness.

Chef Tell entertained his fans and loved his celebrity life, but Friedemann Paul Erhardt was just as happy to be someone that his cats and dogs, and closest friends, could always count on to be there for them.

Despite the adversities he had to overcome, Erhardt left us with an important legacy: Persistence toward, and achievement of, desired goals is not only possible, but also a must for surviving a lifetime worth living.

The biography written by Ronald Joseph Kule is available everywhere online, and through the author’s website.

© 2015 by Ronald Joseph Kule. All Rights Reserved.

Amazon & the CHEF TELL Biography

4 Jun

A Good Book Rising

CHEF TELL The Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef

Lately, the book has been rising on the Amazon.com charts in ranking.  All on its own.  I do not know why.  Maybe people are reading it, trying out the recipes inside, and telling others about the incredible life of a German child who wanted to cook for the world… and did.

As the author of the book, I’m grateful for the following.  The all-five-stars comments and reviews posted to date are also appreciated.

This biography took two and a half years of my life to research and write, but the close relationship with the (late) chef — some kind of spiritual connection — made the hard hours and the multiple highs and lows worth the effort.

Like others who knew him better than I, I miss Chef Tell.  But his public misses the jocular TV personality; what I miss is the man, Friedemann Paul Erhardt, who cooked breakfast for me one time only… and made me feel special, so special that I had to write his life story when no one else stepped up to give the man his due as one  of America’s true culinary and television icons.

Chef Tell’s name and star should have been the first on Hollywood Boulevard (No disrespect to Bobby Flay’s recent accomplishment).  But for the high cost of the donation associated with getting a star — tens of thousands of dollars, he would have been the first and best choice.  After all, every TV chef currently in vogue owes their biggest tips of their toques to Chef Tell, because Tell blazed a trail no one ever had walked from the kitchen before : syndicated television appearances, Womens’ Shows cooking demonstrations, and scores of guest appearances on major TV shows of his era, including LIVE! with Regis & Kathy Lee.

Books Make Booms

chef-tell-tells-all-hermie-kranzdorf-paperback-cover-artMost don’t know that Chef Tell was also a best-selling author.  That’s because his cookbooks sold more than 200,000 copies.  If you used fresh ingredients and followed the Master Chef’s instruction, you could taste at home what over 40,000,000 Baby Boomers adored: Chef Tell’s cooking.

julia child cookbookJulia Child was his contemporary, and her fame rose because of a book and her personality.  Chef Tell’s fan base was reportedly EIGHT TIMES LARGER than Child’s, but today younger generations know Child because of the recent movie performed by Meryl Streep.  But the biography of Chef Tell reads like an emotional roller-coaster ride, making it a candidate for a very interesting movie!

Anyone out there in Hollywood want to take out an option to produce the film?  Baby Boomers would love to see it!

Since then the Chef Tell biography has been published to rave, five-star reviews. As mentioned above, this “evergreen” (endless) story has taken on a life of its own.  http://bit.ly/ChefsBiography for author-signed book copies

© 2015 by Ronald Joseph Kule, KuleBooks LLC. All Rights Reserved.

(NOTE to Non-Commercial Bloggers and Media: Permission to reprint and/or re-blog this article and its images is hereby granted as long as full attribution and a link to the original blog is prominently displayed.)

Facebook page about Chef Tell

29 Dec

https://www.facebook.com/ChefTellBooks

What Is a White Coat Chef? (Why Do Master Chefs Wear White Coats?)

20 Dec

EVER WONDER WHY CHEFS WEAR WHITE COATS?

William_Orpen_Le_Chef_de_l'Hôtel_Chatham,_Paris“Chefs’ clothing remains a standard in the food industry. The tradition of wearing this type of clothing dates back to the mid-19th century.

Marie-Antoine Careme, a popular French chef, is credited with developing the current chef’s uniform. The toques (tall white hats) were already used, but he sought a uniform to honor the chef. White was chosen for the chef’s coat to signify cleanliness.

“Later, the French master chef, Georges Auguste Escoffier, brought the traditional chef’s coat to London, managing the restaurants at the Savoy Hotel and then at the Carlton Hotel.

“Chefs wear cooking aprons for several reasons; one is that they deal with a variety of food ingredients for many hours each day and have to have a means of keeping their clothing free from dirt, stains and odors.” (excerpted from Wikipedia re: chefs’ uniforms)

Friedemann Paul Erhardt — CHEF TELL — was a Master Chef from Germany, who became America’s pioneer TV showman chef in the 1970’s. His celebrity spanned decades. His story is captured in the biography available online and in bookstores worldwide, 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. Published by Skyhorse Publishing (NYC). (Recipes included.)

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 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.

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