Chef Tell

The Biography of America's Pioneer TV Showman Chef

Foreword by Regis Philbin and Walter Staib
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About The Book

Before the heyday of the Food Network, there was Chef Tell—nickname of Friedemann Paul Erhardt, America’s first TV showman chef. Big on personality and flavor, Chef Tell was once called by Philadelphia magazine the “affably roguish Bad Boy of the Philadelphia restaurant world.” Chef Tell explores how a young German American chef became America’s biggest TV celebrity chef of his time. Most of Chef Tell’s forty million baby boomer viewers—a number comparable to Julia Child’s—never knew his fascinating, hardscrabble life story.

Until now.

This winning biography brings us “behind the line” into his kitchen and into his, at times, turbulent personal life. Tell was known as a charmer, as he worked the audience for live television shows, but also a quick-witted perfectionist, who demanded only the freshest ingredients for his life of food, fame, fortune, and women.

Chef Tell’s life—his colleagues would agree—was a managed, complicated, and mercurial affair, which changed two industries and millions of home cooks.

An absorbing account of an extraordinary man, Chef Tell takes us through his personal and professional highs and lows; and his glorious successes that explain why so many loved, or hated, him then and miss him now. The day Chef Tell died messages of surprise and shock flooded the media, including “Chef Tell has died? Stick a fork in him, he’s done.”

Chef Tell would have loved that. Readers will know why and agree.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Skyhorse (October 2013)
  • Length: 454 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781626360044

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Raves and Reviews

“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

“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

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