Prudhomme grazed by bullet during tent set-up at golf event

GRETNA, La. -- Getting hit with a bullet couldn't stop celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme from cooking at a golf course near New Orleans Tuesday morning.

Prudhomme was setting up his cooking tent at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans when he felt a sting on his right arm, just above the elbow. He thought it was a bee sting, but discovered a .22 caliber bullet after shaking his shirt sleeve.

Deputies believe Prudhomme was hit by a falling bullet, probably shot about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday from somewhere within a 1 ½-mile radius of the golf course, said Col. John Fortunato of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.

The celebrated chef didn't require medical attention.

"He thought it was a bee sting," Fortunato said. "Within five minutes, he was back to doing his thing."

Witnesses say the bullet cut Prudhomme's skin and put a hole in his white chef's coat. However, Prudhomme continued cooking for the golfers, their caddies and guests at the annual PGA Tour event.

Prudhomme, who grew up outside Opelousas, La., rose to prominence after being named the first American-born executive chef of Commander's Palace in 1975.

He landed on the national stage as the chef-owner of K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. He is considered responsible for the Cajun cooking craze of the 1980s, which stirred a broader interest in regional American cuisine, particularly the indigenous food of south Louisiana.