Late chef’s family leaves more than 600 personal books to museum collection.
The Cajun/Creole chef known for creating his own brand of spice mixes may be gone, but Paul Prudhomme’s memory will be preserved at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFAB), which recently received his personal collection of books. Donated by his family, the collection contains approximately 600 cookbooks, wine and food documents, as well as technical books on food science.
Available for reference use in the John and Bonnie Boyd Hospitality and Culinary Library at SoFAB — a reference-only library containing more than 11,000 volumes of culinary books, food and cocktail menus, pamphlets, archival documents and a growing number of important collections — the cookbooks are, in some cases, annotated by Chef Prudhomme (who passed away in October of 2015) and serve as a testament to his lifelong curiosity and love for cuisine of all countries, particularly the regional cuisine upon which he built his career.
Some of the volumes, even in foreign languages, are dedicated and inscribed to Prudhomme, and range from classic treatises on cooking to contemporary celebrity chef-written books. Other titles include a label from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends in Harahan, stating “This book is the property of Paul Prudhomme.”
SoFAB’s Culinary Library, the first public library in the South dedicated to culinary literature, opened in October of 2013 at 1609 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. in New Orleans. The library will also house the Menu Project, an ongoing effort to collect, catalog and digitize menus from every restaurant throughout the South and beyond.
Paul Prudhomme photo from xhero on Flickr Creative Commons.