Teflon Chef

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Let us all take a moment, shall we, to reflect on the utter badassery, the sheer Rambo-in-Crocs machismo, of one Paul "Bulletproof" Prudhomme. Revered by Louisiana’s foodies and feared by its redfish, the iconic cook seems to have further fattened his legend with Tuesday morning's near-death (or, at the very least, near-Meuniere-breaking) experience at the Zurich Golf Classic.

To recap: Chef Prudhomme was setting up his station near the links sometime after 9 a.m. when he felt a sudden stinging sensation above his right elbow. According to multiple news reports — each of which has taken on a new, superhero-like characteristic with every retelling — he shook his sleeve and out fell a .22-caliber shell casing. The ammunition, believed by authorities to have been fired in the air within a mile or so radius of the golf course, apparently had found Prudhomme's appendage on its parabolic return to Earth.

But there would be no ambulance ride to Ochsner, not on this day, not when a clutch of professional putters had gathered together in collective pursuit of Tiger Woods (and natch, to eat some liberally seasoned meats and sea fare in the process). And thus the portly Prudhomme dutifully shrugged off his handlers and proceeded to sauté away, searing flesh wound notwithstanding.

Last year, local chef Kevin Vizard relayed a story, one that seems particularly instructive following this week's events; I would like to share it with you now. In the early days of K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen — in the early hours, to be precise — Prudhomme would saunter in each morning with the same four items in hand. They were: a loaf of French bread, a container of black chicory coffee, a pint of heavy cream and a leg of andouille. Rather than mere groceries, these were the makings of the purest breakfast ever known to a south Louisianan — a bite of sausage, a tear of baguette, a slug of bitter diesel and a chaser of 35-percent butterfat.

The lesson? High cholesterol, like bullets raining down from the heavens, just ain’t no match for a 300-pound Cajun.

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