Currently alive, at 79 years of age.
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1940 – born – July 13, 1940, Opelousas, Louisiana. An American chef famous for his Cajun cuisine.
1950’s-1960’s – The youngest of thirteen children, Paul Prudhomme was reared on a farm near Opelousas, the seat of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Members of his family had been active as cooks and in the restaurant business in and around Lafayette, Louisiana.
1979 – He and his late wife, Kay Hinrichs Prudhomme, opened K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in the French Quarter of New Orleans. In the early-1980s, the restaurant made the dish of blackened redfish famous. Once considered poor table fare, this fish gained popularity, due largely to the Cajun specialty dish that he created.
1980’s-1990’s – Prudhomme has been a key figure in taking Cajun cooking from a style little known outside of the Acadiana region of southwest Louisiana and propelling it to national fame. He is the creator of seasonings such as Meat Magic, Vegetable Magic, and Poultry Magic. He is sometimes credited with having invented the turducken, though this has not been verified.
-1st US-born chef to receive France’s Merite Agricole
2007 – In May, Prudhomme began hosting his own PBS cooking show, titled Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Always Cooking!. The first season will have 26 half-hour episodes. A companion cookbook (also titled Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Always Cooking!) is also available. This is not the first time he did a show for PBS; he also did Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Fiery Foods in the mid-90s, produced by New Orleans’ PBS affiliate WYES, which also produces Always Cooking!.
From a very early age, Paul Prudhomme knew that he wanted to make preparing food his life’s work. After completing school, he traveled for several years, working as a cook in all kinds of restaurants and learning as much as he could about the ingredients and styles of cooking in different parts of the country. "Sometimes, when I thought the food was too bland, I’d sneak in a few dried herbs and spices," he said. "When customers complimented the dishes from my station, I’d try to remember exactly what I’d used, but that was hard, so I began keeping little notes on good mixes in my pockets. Sometimes I’d get caught, and this didn’t make me popular with the head chefs."
He works with Mcbride products. Never content to rest on his laurels, however, and always eager to learn, Chef Paul Prudhomme continues to travel, to experiment, to make personal appearances, and to develop delicious new recipes.