Tag Archives: cookbooks

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.)

How to Make A Celebrity TV Chef

23 Apr

 Excerpted from:

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

INTRODUCTION

“Rezepte sind nur Rezepte … im Rahmen des Zumutbaren Sie sie ändern können.”

(“Recipes are only prescriptions … within reason you can change them.”)

— Chef Tell

http://www.amazon.com/Chef-Tell-Biography-Americas-Pioneer/dp/1626360049“The recipe for making a star-bound chef/restaurateur goes like this:

First, rise with the morning twilight. Visit the fish, meat and produce markets daily to ensure your menu and daily ingredients are as fresh as possible. Chastise your vendors, if needed, for quality slippage in your last order; yet, make them feel like they are part of your success.

Second, walk several miles daily within the same four walls. Regularly add water, salt, chicken stock and splashes of wine to foods and to yourself. Even though you know it will take a toll on your body, taste everything you cook.

Third, ensure that your kitchen wait staffs arrive on time, prepared and sober. Mix in your waitpersons, bartenders, hostesses and accountants. Keep them honest with your cash register – every day.

Fourth, bring the first, second and third steps to a boil by simmering under low heat in the first few hours of the day. Gradually turn up the heat.

Fifth, repeat the routine 312* days a year, year after year, despite how you feel, as long as you make your patrons happy. (* Six days a week)

Sixth, (optional) add a pinch of television and media notoriety to the slew of photos with celebrities draped around you on your walls. Voila! A celebrity chef is born.

For super-star ranking, add one more requisite: “Culinary genius: the capacity to take consumable ingredients and envision them into remarkable, repurposed foods, flavors and presentations; the capacity to be ‘avant-garde,’ innovative, iconoclastic, visionary and … in the case of Chef Tell … funny.” (Author’s definition)

Remember, superstar chefs never follow rules; they make their own.

Who was Chef Tell?

The night Friedemann Paul Erhardt (later to be known worldwide as “Chef Tell”) was born, bombs dropped and hunger was a constant. When suicide took his mother, and his brother was separated from him, he became a cook’s commis at 13½. For the rest of his life he was forced to work his way out of one predicament into the next, and then out of the next into another, as he blazed a trail on which other chefs would walk.

No chef-by-the-numbers road map existed in his era. Up to his time, master chefs, for the most part, stayed hermetically inside of their kitchens; yet, he ventured outside where very few – from America only James Beard and Julia Child – ever tread…

Erhardt credited his TV superstardom to his mother, Giesela Gerber Erhardt. Her lessons, born of post-war necessity and the lack of pre-schooling in those days, enabled him to reach a nationwide audience in America and then internationally.  He entertained and taught TV viewers how to cook like his mother.

He soldiered his way to the top of his profession, becoming at 27 the youngest master chef in German history. He championed foods and food-product innovations, which today are considered staples in any kitchen, commercial or private.

The Lure of Two Worlds, the Best and the Worst

The enticing sights, sounds, smells and flavors; the excesses of fortune, fame and connection … excited his imagination.  His world of cooking ran white-hot active – full of innovation, opportunity and competitive challenge. A melting pot of fresh ingredients, newly acquired acquaintances and creative culinary challenges, made for a live-action reality show played out on themed stages. Cooking, for Erhardt, was nothing less than, “Showtime, folks!”

outside the Manor House restaurant 2007

He possessed talents to cook and teach on television that were extraordinary. Fires that burned others were mere sparks on the tail of the energy that propelled Erhardt’s comet. He never stopped thinking about new ingredient combinations, improved ways to cook and innovative cookware. Curious as a child, he sought and unearthed better ways to please more palates, which he then shared with America.

Fernand Point, elite Master Chef and the “Godfather of Modern Cuisine” wrote,

“As far as cuisine is concerned, one must read everything, see everything, hear everything, try everything, observe everything, in order to retain in the end, just a little bit.”

Erhardt pursued “everything” from sunrise to bedtime for a lifetime.

In the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, Chef Tell performed on television screens in over 200 cities as 40,000,000 people watched weekly. But, for most, he was only the man behind the apron, the moustache and the smile, who told us, showed us, how to live through our taste buds.

Vulnerable, Like Us

     The man Friedemann Paul Erhardt was as vulnerable as the rest of us, as imperfect as any of us.  His extraordinary lifetime, for better or worse, ran a mercurial course. When he won, he broke off pieces of his good-fortune cookie and shared them with everyone he liked, even though some took advantage of him in return. When he lost, he lost big-time, making mistakes and enemies under the powerful magnifying glass of the media.

Erhardt might have succeeded in any profession but he had a passion to cook for people and to make them laugh.

     “If you are not a generous person you cannot be in this field,” wrote Fernand Point, trainer to a generation of French master chefs, which included Erhardt’s contemporaries.

Possessed with unusual charm and charisma – a joie de vivre that set him apart from the crowd, Erhardt mingled well with queens, kings, politicians, housewives, janitors, lawyers, musicians; men, women and children, celebrated or uncelebrated.

In a sense, Tell Erhardt’s life defines ours. How he conquered the long odds and devastating barriers that he faced helps us to navigate our minefields. With him in mind, we realize anew that even the biggest of our dreams, if nurtured and continued, can and will come true.

If truth were told, in the culinary arts, as in the art of living, excellent sustained achievement is accomplished only by superb execution of details in the face of harsh realities.  Chef Tell’s life is the perfect template for us to examine that notion.

Skimping will not do, where a five-star experience is desired.  We must, therefore, start at the beginning.

Philadelphia Inquirer promotion

Philadelphia Inquirer  promotional photo

© 2012, 2015 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.

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