Chef TellThe Biography of America's Pioneer TV Showman Chef



Before the heyday of the Food Network, there was Chef Tell, America’s first TV showman chef, big on personality and flavor. Most of Chef Tell’s forty million baby boomer viewers—a number comparable to Julia Child’s—never knew his fascinating, hardscrabble life story.

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.