The world-famous chef and restaurant owner, Paul Prudhomme, known for his Cajun and Creole cuisine, passed away Thursday, at age 75. Prudhomme is credited with popularizing Cajun and Creole dishes, which launched a cooking trend in the 1980’s.
CBS News reports that a representative of Prudhomme’s restaurant K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, confirmed that the chef passed away, due to illness. Prudhomme’s restaurant opened in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1979. The name of the establishment is a combination of his own name and that of his wife, Kay Hinrichs Prudhomme.
Prudhomme first gained attention when he worked as a chef at Commander’s Palace, in New Orleans. There, he helped reinvigorate Creole dishes. He was promoted to executive chef in 1975, which grew the popularity of the restaurant.
The Prudhomme’s are often credited as the source of the blackened redfish craze. The rise in popularity of the fish, lead to a restriction in hunting for the fish. Prudhomme also wrote numerous cookbooks and hosted five nationally syndicated PBS cooking shows.
In the 1990s, Prudhomme created his own line of all natural seasonings. His Magic brand seasonings are distributed in over 30 countries all over the world.
Prudhomme was the youngest of thirteen children. As a child, Paul went by the name Gene Autry Prudhomme, in reference to the famous country singer. He opened a hamburger stand in 1957 called Big Daddy O’s Patio. The endeavor went out of business in under a year. He later moved to New Orleans, taking odd restaurant jobs.
After Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, Prudhomme fed thousands of soldiers and boasted his pride for the city.
The renowned chef cooked for the likes of Congress, heads of state, and celebrities. He spent much of his time dedicated to non-profit organizations and fundraisers.