Chef, restaurateur Paul Prudhomme dies
NEW ORLEANS - Celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme, who is credited with kicking off the Creole cooking craze, has died. He was 75.
WWL-TV reports that Prudhomme's restaurant, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, confirmed his death. A representative said the chef died after a brief illness.
Prudhomme was born in Opelousas and was executive chef at the Commander's Palace in New Orleans in 1975, revolutionizing Creole cuisine alongside Ella and Dick Brennan while turning the restaurant into a national treasure. He opened his own French Quarter restaurant in 1979, taking part of his name and combining it with the name of his late wife, Kay Hinrichs Prudhomme.
He and his wife introduced blackened redfish to the New Orleans culinary scene. Commercial fishing for the suddenly-popular redfish later had to be restricted to prevent it from going extinct. Prudhomme is also credited with introducing the turducken to the cooking world.
Prudhomme wrote nine cookbooks, hosted five national cooking shows on PBS, and earned national renown for his spices and seasonings. The chef later created his own line of herbs and spices in the 90s, which are now distributed throughout the U. S. and to more than 30 countries across the world.
The chef also developed a reputation for his humanitarian acts. In 2004 he took two tons of food and seasonings to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba to cook for the troops stationed there. After he was forced out of his restaurant during Hurricane Katrina, Prudhomme cooked for free at a relief center for troops and residents staying in the French Quarter. Bon Appetit awarded him their 2006 Humanitarian Award for his efforts following the hurricane.
Prudhomme is survived by his wife Lori. Funeral arrangements are pending.