Prudhomme, Paul

Prudhomme, Paul

(1940–  ) chef; born in Opelousas, La. The youngest of 13 children, he began cooking with his mother by age seven. In his early teens he set off on a 12-year apprenticeship with chefs around the U.S.A., then returned to Louisiana and started the first of several restaurants, Big Daddy's Patio. In 1979, he and his wife, K Hinrichs Prudhomme, opened K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen in New Orleans, which soon became widely known for both its traditional cajun and creole cooking and his own innovations (such as blackened fish and meats). He himself became internationally honored as one of America's greatest chefs, a reputation furthered through his ebullient personality, and his frequent television appearances, cooking videos, best-selling cookbooks (such as Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen, 1984), many awards, benefit and fundraising efforts, and invitations to cook at various functions including the 1983 Economic Summit Meeting at Williamsburg, Va. He also marketed his line of Magic Seasoning Blends and seasoned and smoked meats.