The family of Paul Prudhomme, the legendary Southern chef credited with putting Cajun cuisine on the map, has donated the late chef’s personal collection of cookbooks and culinary texts to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans, dedicated to the preservation of Southern food culture.
During his long career, Prudhomme turned Commander’s Palace into a nationally acclaimed dining destination, and later opened K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, where he refined his approach to Cajun and creole cuisine. Prudhomme is also credited with inventing the turducken, the Thanksgiving centerpiece for overachievers.
The collection, which will be available for reference in the John and Bonnie Boyd Hospitality and Culinary Library, contains some 600 books of recipes and cooking techniques, as well as the works of some fellow celebrity chefs.
A number of the books contain annotations from Prudhomme himself, and some are dedicated and inscribed to the chef. The Boyd Library where chef Prudhomme’s collection will be housed is home to more than 11,000 volumes of culinary books and documents, and will also house on the Menu Project, an ongoing effort to digitize menus from every restaurant in the American South.
“We are touched by this generous gift of Mrs. Lori Prudhomme and excited about the prospect of sharing his collection with the interested public,” museum president Liz Williams said in a statement.