Paul Prudhomme, one of the most celebrated and influential chefs in the history of the U.S. restaurant industry, has died at age 75 after a brief illness.
Through his cooking at K-Paul’s in New Orleans, Prudhomme popularized Creole and Cajun cuisine throughout the world. He also sparked a surge in interest in American cuisine during the 1980s. Po’ boys, etouffee, andouille and gumbo were little known outside of Louisiana until Prudhomme became a household name in the pre-Food Network days.
Through his use of techniques such as blackening and a reliance on purely North American ingredients like Gulf red fish, he helped to elevate American cuisine to rank among the world’s finest and most imitated.
More recently, Prudhomme had focused on selling his signature spices to restaurants and supermarkets. Though confined to a wheelchair, he participated in industry conferences and events.