Chef Bios: Paul Prudhomme

Staff Writer
The man who made Cajun an international culinary phenomena and helped to put Nola on the map.

 

QUICKFACTS

Culinary Style: Cajun

Restaurants:former executive chef Commander's Palace and K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen

Born: July 13, 1940 in Opelousas, Louisiana

Signature Dish: Blackened redfish

Education (or previous gigs): Prudhomme has had not formal culinary training, instead learned the art of Cajun cooking in his own family’s kitchen. During his 20’s, Prudhomme traveled the country working at various restaurants and learning different culinary styles. His big break, though, came in 1975 when he began working at Commander’s Palace, under the guidance of Gerhardt Wolfgang Brill. Four years later Prudhomme and his late wife, Kay, opened up K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen.

Awards: In 1983, the Louisiana State Restaurant Association named Prudhomme “Restaurateur of the Year.”  Three years later, Prudhomme was named “Culinarian of the Year” by the American Culinary Federation.  In 1993 the National Restaurant Association awarded Prudhomme the College of Diplomates Award, and in 2000 Nation’s Restaurant News named Prudhomme “Fine Dining Legend Award” winner. Prudhomme is also regarded for his philanthropic work, whichin 2006 earned him the Bon Appetit Humanitarian of the Year award.

Notable Mentions: Prudhomme is often accredited with brining Cajun cooking out into the mainstream. Today the chef has his own line of spices and smoked meats sold under the Magical Seasoning Blends name.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

The spring of 2008, while catering the Zurich Classic of New Orleans golf tournament, Prudhomme was grazed by a .22-calibre stray bullet. The chef initially supposed the pain to be a bee sting, but after realizing he had the wound treated and immediately went back to his cooking station.