Tag Archives: master chef
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Finding the Perfect Camera-ready TV Chef

8 Nov

Watching Chef Tell in action is both a learning and a laughing experience. Even before he achieved his “youngest master chef in Germany” status in 1970 he was teaching students in Heidelberg classes. Throughout his entire professional life Tell gave back by teaching cooking classes wherever he worked, including in America. He was generous that way with his time, but, more than that, he was giving of his knowledge and expertise not only to students hoping to one day become chefs, but also to home cooks who watched him through the magic of syndicated television when that medium was a start-up industry.

From the recently released Chef Tell biography:

“Channel 6’s Dialing for Dollars Producer Art Moore took notice and offered Tell an opportunity to cook on-air, if Marriott would provide the food. Marriott was receptive, and Tell’s first 90-second TV cooking demo aired. The station received a flood of phone calls. Half the viewers liked the novelty of his having to cook in 90 seconds or less and they liked Tell; the other half complained about his thick German accent and the speed at which he talked.

“When 800 letters from the audience deluged the station after airing the one test segment, Moore decided to air another segment, albeit after Tell and he had worked together to improve his speed of speech delivery and, of course, do what they could about the accent.

“According to Moore, ‘We created the show and went looking for a chef to do a cooking segment. Fortunately, after the initial trial, we found we had a chef on our hands, who understood the importance and potential of television. Tell “got it” right away. Even though we prodded him about his accent and joked with him, he rolled with our advice, which helped create his banter on-air with the audiences.’

“Moore also commented upon Tell’s personality, ‘He had a charming, ebullient personality. He was smart, and we saw that what he did worked.'” (end excerpt.)

Chef Tell — Friedemann Paul Erhardt off-air — also had a gift for delivering jokes and one-liners that made viewers laugh and his producers and their advertisers happy with the ratings they recorded.  Within a few months of his first airing, Tell had become a sought-after celebrity chef with a following of tens of millions of Baby Boomers who tuned in and were entertained with phrases like, “You do like this, you do like that” (as he prepared some meat dishes) and “Very easy, very nice” (as he plated and garnished his finished products). And, of course, people all over America mimicked his sign-off phrase, “I SEE YOU!”

At times, he would add in a little self-deprecating humor, “Why does the new German navy have glass-bottom boats? Because they can see the old German navy that way.” And without waiting for the audience to laugh, or finish laughing, he would move on to the next preparation step or the next dish.

All in 90 seconds, which eventually expanded to three to five-minute sketches as fast as his audience numbers grew. In some markets his segments brought in a 50 percent market share for the local stations. In fact, Chef Tell was a phenomenon that had not been seen in television before him: the pioneer TV showman chef.

Owning a series of Chef Tell DVD’s brings the master chef into your home all over again. These are available now. The impetus for the offer is the recently released book, CHEF TELL The Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef, written by author Ronald Joseph Kule, who was Chef Tell’s brother-in-law. The hard-cover book is 452 pages and contains 70 photos and NEW, never-published recipes from the master chef; also available in eBook and Audiobook formats online and in stores.

BLOGGER’S NOTE: If you’ve come this far in this blog post, please comment on the post and anything else you wish to share about Chef Tell, or chefs and cooking in general.  Do you have an anecdote from knowing Chef Tell? Please share with other readers here.

© 2013 by Ronald Joseph Kule. All Rights Reserved.

Master Chef Chef Tell Biography

27 Aug

“Later, Tell reminisced, ‘I am German. Over there they do things different. In my apprenticeship I was allowed to make any mistake—once. Then, the second time, they kick you where you don’t like it.’
“Despite the circumstances tossed at him, Tell never flashed back like a bullwhip with a rebellious streak of vicious behavior. Instead, with every obtuse turn of his journey he redoubled his resolve and pushed after his dream. He stayed the course through a gauntlet of flying objects and dissuasive people, which tried its best to discourage him. He out-worked his peers and his handlers.”

(from 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.)

© 2013 by Ronald Joseph Kule. All Rights Reserved.

43 Days to Another Baby Boomer Milestone

19 Aug

In 43 more days the biography of the late Chef Tell will be available for delivery for the first time.  In pre-release since March, pent-up demand for the much-anticipated book has brought keen interest from Baby Boomers who remember the master chef.  In fact, at the heyday of his TV career, Chef Tell was followed by 40,000,000 Baby Boomers regularly.

It’s easy to figure why he was so loved on camera: his irascible personality, quick-witted quips and spot-on cooking tips were served up faster than the blink of an eye… and they always tasted good!  Just ask TV hosts Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford, who tried more dishes made by Chef Tell than any other chef back in the days of their TV show, LIVE! with Regis & Kathie Lee.

Today Baby Boomers ought to spread the word: Chef Tell is back, not only with his life story — even the off-camera stuff, but also with NEW recipes and a DVD offer that includes never-before-aired shows with the Master Chef himself in redux.

The book is available through all the usual channels, including bookstores, online outlets and any place you can buy a book. This one is hard cover, about 264 pages and filled with photos of the man and the people who loved his food.

Makes a great gift idea for those who love biographies, recipes, and stories that make them cry and laugh out loud.

Chef Tell cover photo

Master Chef, Bad Boy

16 Jul

CHEF TELL The Biography of America’s Pioneer TV Showman Chef shows us not only the perfect personality for TV cooking appearances in front of 40,000,000 Baby Boomers, but also the quick-witted perfectionist who demanded only the freshest ingredients for food, fortune, fame and women. An absorbing account of an extraordinary man, CHEF TELL surprises and horrifies with its emotional and intellectual tugs-of-war, which reveal the personal and professional highs, lows and glorious successes of Philadelphia magazine’s “affably roguish Bad Boy of the Philadelphia restaurant world,” explaining why so many loved or hated Chef Tell then but today miss him dearly.

Now available in pre-release. Release set for October 1, 2013.

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

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

40 OMELETS IN 13 MINUTES, 55 SECONDS!

23 May

“… The observer watched as the master chef, Chef Tell, churned out 40 omelets at a mind-boggling clip.  Loading three large pans at once, while an assistant brought out nine plates at a time from the hot locker, Tell shook the pans sideways, sending the egg mixture skittering over the 1400-degree surface flames.

“Three slight flips of his wrist curled one edge over… another flip and the fluffy omelet fell onto the prepared hot plate, two more close behind.

“His flow never stopped until all 40 finished omelet plates were garnished and spirited away from the kitchen.

“’13 minutes and 55 seconds… 40 omelets… S***!  That’s why my short-wave handle is ‘Short Order One!’ Cooked to order,’ said Tell, wiping the heat from his brow.”

(excerpted from the upcoming biography by Ronald Joseph Kule, forewords by Regis Philbin and Chef Walter Staib.)

© 2013 by KuleBooks LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Master Chef Reveals a Big Mistake!

13 May

Back when Friedemann Paul Erhardt was a lowly apprentice in the German trade apprenticeship program, he was merely 13 1/2 years of age and naive. The morning that his instructor told him to “boil a pot of potatoes,” he turned up the heat on a pot full of potatoes, and within minutes the kitchen filled with smoke!  The executive chef in charge got into the hapless boy’s face in a hurry, yelling even as his boot hit the lad’s behind — “hitting me where it hurts,” as Erhardt later put it.

No one had told him to put water in the pot with the potatoes!

Erhardt survived his apprenticeship failures, however, and graduated as the youngest Master Chef in German history to his time in 1970. He went on to captain the West German team to a gold Medal win in that year’s Cooking Olympics and also won a personal Gold Medal in another competition that year. He was named “German Chef of the Year.”

But the “rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey might have described it, is that Friedemann Paul Erhardt emigrated to America two years later and became Chef Tell, America’s pioneer television showman chef.  His 40 million-strong, Baby Boomer, TV fan base reveled in his recipes, cooking instructions and demonstrations and the jovial personality that, at times, made for non-stop jokes and entertaining TV.

Order your copies now — for yourself and as a great gift — in pre-release online and at retailers everywhere. Release date is set for October 1, 2013… in time for the Holidays.

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