Prudhomme family bequeaths personal books to museum

NEW ORLEANS — The Southern Food & Beverage Museum recently received the personal collection of the late Chef Paul Prudhomme, which contains approximately 600 cookbooks, wine and food documents, as well as technical books on food science. Donated by his family, the archives are available for reference use in the John and Bonnie Boyd Hospitality and Culinary Library at SoFAB.
“We are touched by this generous gift of Mrs. Lori Prudhomme and excited about the prospect of sharing his collection with the interested public,” said Liz Williams, SoFAB president.
The cookbooks are, in some cases, annotated by Chef Prudhomme 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.
Some titles also include a label from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends in Harahan, stating “This book is the property of Paul Prudhomme.”
The Boyd Library is 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, other literature and ephemera. Personal archives from Norman Van Aken, Louis Osteen, Dale DeGroff and others are valuable resources that can help facilitate the professional development of current and future culinary artists.
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. The database records the public history of eating and equips scholars with a critical tool in their study of American foodways.
The Boyd Library is located at 1609 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. in New Orleans and is part of the umbrella organization the National Food and Beverage Foundation.
Library hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and by appointment. For further information or to make an appointment, call 504-267-7490 or visit online at http://natfab.org/sofab-culinary-library-and-archive/.

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