Entertainment venues, they live or die by the marquee value of their chefs and the quality of their staged output.
Chef Tell’s story required eighteen months of continual research, many pages of writing, and numerous drafts. This feast of his lifetime—
the result of scores of decisions and more than one hundred thousand words—will be devoured in mere hours. Like a playwright’s dialogue at curtain’s rising or a chef ’s plated presentation placed before a discerning palate, this story goes “live” the moment you hit page one.
Stage plays, restaurants, and books are matters of execution and timing, but they can be timeless, too. Chef Tell’s life—his colleagues would agree—was a managed, complicated, and temporary affair.
However, his impact continues: Chef Tell changed two industries and xxiv P R E F A C E
This is an account of an extraordinary man—the most-watched television and live-showman chef in history up to his time. This account aims to suspend your disbelief and transport you into a world where surprises, delicious and horrific, are emotional and intellectual tugs-of-war.
Chef Tell’s difficulties, low points, and eventual glorious successes are life lessons that may uplift lives and bring hope.
The view from “behind the line” reveals how long and hard Chef Tell worked, why so many loved him, and why he remains so missed by those who met or knew him. If this work entertains, shocks, and upsets you; if it makes you think, makes you hungry, and then makes you understand how this one man impacted his and your world, call it a successful mission.
Chef Tell lived and died by his marquee personality and his skills as a master chef. In his words, his lifelong pursuit of excellence proposes a moral for us all: Life is simple. People make the difference.
The short chapters pay homage to the master chef, who preferred to sample many small dishes rather than select a large entrée from the menu whenever he dined out. Likewise, each chapter offers the reader’s mental palate portions that are digestible, before moving to the next course. There is even a factually correct entremets in the middle.
The added glossary of culinary terms will help readers new to the culinary arts to enter the chef ’s milieu without trepidation.
An added, seven-course meal of new Chef Tell recipes is Chef Tell’s posthumous gift to his many loyal and hungry fans, so, as Tell would put it, “Go ahead. Play with your food!”
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