Tag Archives: chef tell

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])

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author at Barnes & Noble Booksellers Signing Event

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.

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© 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.

HEAVEN ON EARTH PASTRY PUFFS: ZEPPOLE

3 Feb

The other day, while visiting a chef I had wanted to meet for a long time, Chef Charles Knight, owner of Health Craft Cookware Company, also a friend of many years with my brother-in-law Chef Tell,  I found out how to make an Italian pastry delicacy with a mere four ingredients: water, butter, flour and eggs.

The base of this unexpected treat, choux pastry or pâte à choux, interested me, but the work involved in mixing the ingredients came as a complete surprise. I came away with real respect for the muscled arms and shoulders of sous chefs everywhere. When I remarked – my upper arm muscles tightening up — to my new host, “Now I understand why executive chefs hire sous chefs to do this,” he retorted with, “You mean ‘sue’ chefs.” (Because they’ll sue you, if you make fun of them.)

beignet dough mixing

photo attribution: http://en.wikipedia.org

You see, when heated butter and water mix with flour a chemical reaction takes place, and the resulting mix requires kneading.

In our case, we used a round-bottomed pot and stirred the whole thing with a large wooden spoon. Interestingly, as I stirred the mixed ingredients, they began to withdraw from the edges to form a rounded dough ball, which the spoon coaxed into being. The result was essentially the same as a pizza dough, minus a rising agent (typically yeast). (For the exact steps to take, read on.)

pre-zeppole dough ball

Now the hard work began. When the eggs were introduced, one at a time, another chemical reaction took place, separating the kitchen weak of muscle from the strong.  The arm strength required to move the process along was quite intense, because the initial mixing created a thickening dough.

On the other hand, the advancing reaction eventually turned the thickened paste into a softened, lighter and more-pliable dough that, once shaped, could be deep-fried or baked, and then dusted with a final, sweet or savory topping of our choice.

photo attribution: http://hintofvanilla.blogspot.com

For our taste buds, Charles and I mixed freshly ground cinnamon and granulated table sugar, sprinkling this combination onto over a dozen of our newly made, palm-sized puffed pastries popularly known as “Zeppole.”

dusted zeppole

photo attribution: http://imalittle.com

*******

Before we bit into the warm delicacies, a little history lesson was on tap, and my host explained:

“People believe, and 16th century records purport, that a chef, Pantarelli, who was Catherine de’ Medici’s head chef of her court in 1533 when she moved to France, created the new dough in 1540. He used his invention to make a light gateau (cake), giving his creation the title of ‘Pâte à Pantarelli.’ The popular confection’s reputation among other chefs spread widely. With the addition of each new chef’s imagination and tinkering with the dough new twists popped up. Even the name evolved to ‘Pâte à Popelin,’ when it took on characteristics associated with another popular dessert, popelins, which were small cakes made in the shape of women’s breasts.

“When an eighteenth century pastry chef, Jean Avice, pushed the creative envelope further, he created what came to be known as “choux buns,” which in turn became pâte à choux (cabbage in French), since they resembled the look of cabbages.”

“Later, in the nineteenth century, Antoine Carême modified the recipe and made profiteroles with the light pastry dough. A parade of chefs added croquembouches, éclairs, French crullers, beignet, St. Honoré cakes, Indonesian kue sus, and gougères to the fast-growing list of items that could be produced with the desirable dough mixture and its high moisture content that employs steam to puff the pastry as it cooks.

“Though usually fried, choux pastry in the hands of chefs of other nationalities are baked (beignet), or fried, dried, filled, and then baked. Spanish and Latin American churros consist of fried choux pastry, sugared and dipped in a thin chocolate blancmange for breakfast. Austrians make Marillenknödel, a denser, sweet apricot dumpling, by boiling it. Choux pastry filled with a light cream or pudding makes cream puffs or éclairs.”Marillenknodel

.

photo attribution: http://www.ackerl.at

*******

We filled our cups with freshly ground and brewed coffee, to which I added coconut milk.  My host poured cream into his brew, and we waited and watched.

The medium-sized saucepan half-filled with Extra Virgin olive oil heated to a gentle 350 degrees, took only a few minutes to come to a boil because of the inductive cooking heat source we used. The rolling oil accepted the dough that we dropped into it five individual pieces at a time – enough to let them cook but not so many that they were too crowded to fully puff out, after we scooped them up with a small spoon and shaped them with another spoon repeatedly. Knowing when to remove the individual pieces from the hot oil was easy: they puffed up and browned from the reaction inside and the hot oil outside right before our eyes.

As the second batch rolled in the heated oil, the first group already scooped out shed its excess oil with the help of paper towels placed on a small plate under it. Sprinkled with the cinnamon/sugar blend, the zeppole were now ready to eat — a real treat with our freshly brewed coffee.

*******

Step-by-step instructions for making the pastry, accompanied by visual aids at each stage of development, make prepping and cooking your own Zeppole fast and easy:

01x Start the pâte à choux by placing all the ingredients except the flour and eggs in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

 

 

 

02xCut the butter into pieces so it melts by the time the liquid comes to a boil.

 

 

 

 

03xBring the liquids to a boil, uncovered, over medium heat. Stir once to ensure that everything mixes, and that the butter is all melted.

 

 

 

04xRemove the saucepan from the heat. Add the flour all at one time.

 

 

 

 

05xQuickly incorporate the flour with a wooden spatula.

 

 

 

 

06xBeat the paste until it becomes homogenous and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan.

 

 

 

 

07xReturn the saucepan to the heat. Cook the paste, stirring continuously, over medium heat until it dries out, about 3 minutes. The paste is dry enough when it leaves a thin, dry film on the bottom of the saucepan.

 

 

 

08xRemove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes or so. Some chefs will transfer the dough to a separate bowl at this point so that none of the film becomes part of the dough. When the dough cools a bit, add the first egg.

 

 

 

09xStir the egg into the paste. Initially, the egg and paste will seem not to blend, but after a while they will start to combine. Stir until the paste is smooth and even in texture.

 

 

 

10xContinue adding the eggs, one at a time.

 

 

 

 

11xAfter each added egg, the mixture will appear loose and separated.

 

 

 

 

12xWith continuous mixing, each egg will become incorporated as before.

 

 

 

 

13xWhen finished, the pâte à choux is a pale yellow, smooth, moist, sticky and slightly elastic.

Attribution: photos and accompanying instructions: Pâte à Choux.

 

 

*******

Chef Knight and I stopped making more zeppole when we had about 20 to eat between us. Let me tell you, they are impossible to eat only one! Our zeppole were the perfect accompaniment to our coffee and our conversation!

And the fillings and variations one can add to the basic ingredients are limited only by the imagination.

Although it was hard to do, we managed to save a few leftovers at the end of our meeting for travel home with me to surprise my wife.

*******

If you are looking to outfit your kitchen with a new saucepan or other pots and pans, consider Chef Charles Knight’s Health Craft Cookware Company as your source for excellent individual items and cookware sets. Ask about the inductive heating pads for time-saving, less-costly inductive cooking that uses less heat and energy than conventional sources.

Mention my name, Ronald Joseph Kule, and tell them you heard about their company through this blog. Use “CODE CTG,” and I’m pretty sure Chef Knight is going to take good care of you.

sugar and cinnamon dusted zeppole

Attribution: http://labuonacucina70.blogspot.com

P.S. Leave us a posted comment with your email address. In return, we will send you a booklet of Chef Tell recipes absolutely FREE! A Limited Time Offer… act now!

© 2014 by Ronald Joseph Kule. All Rights 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.

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.

Master Chef, Chef Tell DVD OFFER!

26 Sep

CHEF TELL is on a lot of peoples’ minds these days. The biography of his life reads like a timeless tale of overcoming one obstacle after another on an improbable journey toward a stardom that was almost beyond his beliefs. Certainly he could not have known that his likeness and words — let alone his cooking tips, lightning speed with sharp kitchen knives, and rapier-like wit — would become household conversation pieces around the country back in 1976, when he stood on a park lawn and auditioned for an experimental, national TV segment, barehanded and script-less.

The master chef was our first “rock-star” chef. As many as 20,000 Baby Boomer would-be home cooks crowded into Baltimore’s convention center on one weekend just to watch their TV hero cook and entertain in five shows.

(An infomercial of the “lost” Chef Tell shows on DVD will be operable on October 1st — be sure to come back to this link then!)

Chef Tell will again be seen on-air, at least in the Philadelphia area, at first on October 1st… and, who knows, the magic that syndicated his name and image around the nation more than once may strike again. Chef Tell may appear on the air around the country, if all goes well.Chef Tell hi res cover

A lot of the buzz has to be the book.  Chef Tell’s brother-in-law, Ronald Joseph Kule, spent a couple of years of his life researching and writing the life-story of the American kitchen icon. He wanted to leave a legacy for one of his sisters, who married Tell and was his most intimate companion for more than 25 years.

The 452-page, hard-cover book includes 70 photos and NEW CHEF TELL RECIPES, besides the DVD offer in print. There is even a “posthumous gift” inside from the master chef himself: a seven-course dinner suggested and designed to please any palate.

You’ll probably laugh a little, cry a little and even sigh a little reading this meticulous book, but you will walk away more certain that your own dreams can come true with a little luck and a lot of persistence after you journey through Tell’s life and times… those heady days when a renaissance of the culinary arts that captured the nation’s eyes and ears through the magic of television began in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, home of one of its most ebullient personalities, Chef Tell.

© 2013 by KuleBooks LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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