Thursday, October 8, 2015

Iconic Creole chef Paul Prudhomme dead at 75

Paul Prudhomme
Paul Prudhomme, the chef responsible for popularizing Creole and Cajun food nationwide decades ago, has died at the age of 75.

The New Orleans icon, whose K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen is one of the most popular restaurants in the city, especially with tourists, died after what a representative of the business said was "a brief illness."

Prudhomme got his first taste of big-league fame as executive chef at the legendary Commander's Palace restaurant where he introduced a modern version of Creole cuisine. He founded K-Paul's in the city's French Quarter in 1979. He also was known for his cookbooks and for many television and culinary event appearances over the years. He also had a popular line of spices called Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends.

I recall some years ago when Prudhomme was in the Capital Region promoting one of his cookbooks and I still was associate editor and the restaurant critic at the Times Union. He was nice enough to share a few Creole cooking tips that I use to this day. One of the best: "Don't try to get too fancy, even for a special occasion. Good ingredients and simple preparation works best."

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