- Date of Birth:
- July 13, 1940
Paul Prudhomme (also known as Gene Autry Pudhomme, born on July 13, 1940 in Opelousas, Louisiana) was best known an American chef who popularized creole cuisine. Though his name was Paul on his birth certificate, he went by Gene Autry during his youth. Paul opened his first restaurant in 1957, a hamburger joint called Big Daddy O’s patio. Though the restaurant went out of business and ended his first marriage, he would not give up his passion for food. He began creating his own spice mixes and gave them away to customers. In 1970, he worked as a sous chef at the Le Pavilion Hotel in New Orleans. In the 1970’s, Paul’s skills helped him find success, as he appointed as the head chef at Commander’s Palace, turning it into a world-class destination for food. He opened K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen in 1979, hiring Emeril Lagasse to work the kitchen. Paul continued to find success in the culinary world, releasing best-selling cookbooks and opening successful restaurants. He even released his own line of spices and seasoning blends, allowing anyone to cook creole style food in their homes. On Oct. 8, 2015, Paul passed away in New Orleans after a brief illness.
Best Known For:
Paul Prudhomme was best known as a celebrity chef who popularized Creole cuisine in America.
In 2004, Paul traveled to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base with over 4,000 pounds of food and seasonings to cook for the troops stationed there. Following Hurricane Katrina, he cooked for free at a relief center, one point cooking over 6,000 meals in a single day. Paul was married three times, most notably to Kay Prudhomme, They were married in the 1970s, up until her death from lung cancer in 1993. In 2010, he married Lori Bennett and was with her until his death.