A Brief History of…… Chef Friedman Paul Erhardt…”Chef Tell”
Chef Erhardt was one of the first chefs to gain widespread popularity on American Television. While many of us remember him for his guest appearances on QVC and other shows of this type it should be known that Chef Erhardt was a highly skilled culinarian.
Born in Stuggart, Gremany in 1943, he was the son of a German Newspaper publisher. After playing the part of William Tell in a play, the name “Tell” would become his moniker. At the age of 14 young Paul entered into a strict training program for chefs. He earned the title of Master Chef while in his twenties, the youngest to ever do so. Also he received a Masters degree in cooking from the University of Heidelberg, won several culinary competitions and was named Germany`s Chef of the Year.
Chef Erhardt moved to the United States when he was 28 years old to take a position at Philadelphia‘s Marriott Hotel. He gained notoriety when he landed a 90 second cooking short on a local T.V. show “Evening Magazine” which was nationally syndicated. He later hosted a show for public television and was known for using humor in his cooking shows. Chef Tell‘s popularity and German accented personality earned him a place in American pop culture. He was a regular on Regis and Kathie Lee and was often parodied on Saturday Night Live. In addition to television Chef Tell owned several restaurants in Philadelphia in the 1970‘s and 80‘s. He also owned a restaurant in the Cayman Islands.
Chef Tell died at age 63 in 2007 of heart failure. He was also diabetic and had written several cookbooks including one for diabetics. Chef Tell spent the last two years of his life as a culinary instructor at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College.