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Paul Prudhomme, Celebrity Chef, Dead at 75

Culinary great credited with popularizing Creole cusine

Celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme, known for popularizing Cajun and Creole cuisine in the U.S., passed away Thursday morning at the age of 75.

Tiffanie Roppolo, the chief financial officer of Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends, confirmed the news to TheWrap, saying that the chef died after a brief illness.

Prudhomme was born in 1940 in Louisiana, one of 13 children born to his sharecropping mother and father. He first achieved recognition for his culinary prowess when he was named the executive chef of the New Orleans restaurant Commander’s Palace. He would go on to open his own restaurant in New Orleans, K-Paul’s, in 1979.

He is considered one of America’s first celebrity chefs, hosting several cooking shows on PBS and authoring nine cookbooks over the course of his career. He also marketed a popular line of seasonings sold all over the country.

Perhaps his most famous dish, blackened redfish, became so popular that at one point the state of Louisiana was forced to impose limits to prevent the species from dying out due to overfishing, according to CNN.