Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme passed away a few days ago

Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme passed away a few days ago

by Lesley Sudders

During the same week, I was scrutinizing our cookbook collection. It has grown over several decades, and the moment was at hand to decide what to keep, what is too used and food-spattered to keep or give away, what can be given away.

On one shelf, I found two of Prudhomme’s books. I moved them to the “undecided” stack.


Twelve to fifteen years ago, my job required staffing a booth at food shows, such as the Fancy Food Show, in various cities. I was able to meet Chef Prudhomme a few times. He was an incredibly sweet, personable man, and you could see how much people wanted to spend a moment with him. He was always unhurried, no matter how long the line of fans.

Even then, he was very heavy. He could walk short distances, but got around the mammoth convention halls on a scooter. It was rigged so that he could cook his wonderful fragrant dishes while talking to admirers. Or he could sign cookbooks.

The two books I have are personalized, one for me and one for my husband. Chef Prudhomme wasn’t a writer, exactly, yet his warmth and generosity shines through in his cookbooks, in the introduction and comments. Writers write to convey some sort of message, right? His message was often summarized as, “Good cooking, good eating, good loving.”

Hard to go wrong with that.

I confess I have not tried many of the recipes, but promised myself to do so. They sound delicious.

The two cookbooks have been relocated to the “Keeper” group. How can I part with something that is a small connection to a sweet, loving soul? Rest in peace.

Lesley Sudders has published a mystery,
The Brodick Affair, Lesley Sudderswriting as Les Brierfield, and is at work on her next novel and several short stories. A Colorado native, she lives in Arizona with her husband and writing collaborator Eduardo Cervino (E.C. Brierfield). Follow her blog: Les Brierfield, Author. Lesley welcomes contact at

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1 Response to Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme passed away a few days ago

  1. ckthomas63 says:

    Lesley, your experiences staffing a booth at food shows must have been interesting. Have you written any fiction centered around food? I’ve been thinking of writing some fiction where unwillingly or unintentionally isolated women secretly use recipes to communicate with other women and the “outside” world. Still working on finding a reasonable plot line. Recipe books are fun, and I find I have some that I hardly ever open, but when I bought them I was sure I’d cook from them. I need to purge my “cooking bookshelf” just as you have. Maybe someone would actually cook with some of my castoffs! Nice thought. Thanks for this sweet post recognizing such a memorable person. Happy cooking! Cheryl


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