Paul Prudhomme Dodges a Bullet, Literally

Celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme tells Robert Siegel that he was in the midst of setting up his cooking tent at a golf tournament in New Orleans when he heard a kind of "whistley zing" and felt a sting in his arm. Prudhomme shook his shirt sleeve and found a .22-caliber bullet in his long johns.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

And we thought the danger at a PGA tournament was getting hit by a stray golf ball, some duck hooked off the tee that sails right into the spectators' gallery in the rough, or worst still, possibly lightning. Well, here's a tale of a golf course hazard that we had not even imagined.

Joining us from New Orleans is Chef Paul Prudhomme.

And Chef Paul, I want you to tell us about what you were doing Tuesday morning at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in Gretna, Louisiana.

Mr. PAUL PRUDHOMME (Host, "Chef Paul Prudhomme's Always Cooking!"): I was setting up to feed the players. I had a little tent and I was outside the tent. And I reached over to get something off the counter, and I heard of, sort of, kind of, a whistley zing and then I felt a little something on my arm. And I looked - pulled my shirt sleeve a little tighter than it was, and there was a hole in it. And I was astounded.

So I unbutton it and rolled it up and that was a .22 caliber bullet that was, sort of, stuck into my long johns, which it was cold here, so I had long johns on. So I was stuck into the long john and it just, I mean, literally just moved some skin over in a couple of pieces. It wasn't anything bad. As a matter of fact, it's already healed. Yesterday, I had a Band Aid on, and today, I don't have anything on it.

SIEGEL: Where did this bullet come from?

Mr. PRUDHOMME: It came out of the sky, and that's the only thing we have. It was - the tournament was, pretty much, where there was a lot of vegetation, a lot of trees and people hunting in stuffs that - in that area. And it's probably just a stray bullet that landed on me. I don't know why but it did.

SIEGEL: Do you think intended for something airborne, perhaps, and instead came back to the ground and…

Mr. PRUDHOMME: Well, there's no doubt that, you know, it felt like it had came straight up and it looked like it had came straight up because of the position. It was, you know, next to my arm in the long john.

SIEGEL: And what did you say when it - when you realize or can you repeat it on the air, what did you say when you realized that it was a bullet?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. PRUDHOMME: I had the president of my company who's a lady named Sean(ph) and she was standing next to me, and I said, look, there's…

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. PRUDHOMME: …look there's a bullet. You know, it's stuck over here and I took it down and showed it to her and put it down. And there was a policeman right there and so he came over and said, you know, what's going on? So I showed him the bullet and then, like, maybe three minutes later, there was - I was surrounded by sheriff's deputies going what happened here? You know, what happened here? What happened here? It was kind of funny because it didn't really hurt me and it was just such - they said it was 500 million-to-1 possibility that someone will get hit by stray bullet.

SIEGEL: By a stray .22 caliber bullet on the way down, and wow. Well, is this the first time that you have been shot in the course of action while cooking for a golf tournament?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. PRUDHOMME: It's the first time. Yes. You know, it's, you know, yeah, I've been through a lot in my life. You know, I was born on the farm without any gas, electricity and we hunted a lot and stuff, but you know, this was the first for me. I just was blown away.

SIEGEL: We should just add before I let you go, we don't want to make light of the idea of people shooting bullets around near where people are playing golf of doing anything else.

Mr. PRUDHOMME: They should not be doing it, yes.

SIEGEL: Could not be doing that. We don't approve of that, not at all. But just for the record, what were you cooking at the time?

Mr. PRUDHOMME: We did wonderful pork dishes and we did chicken breast and we cook it - put a little butter on it and some seasoning and brown it off in a skillet. Man, is that wonderful? And you know, we were literally changing ingredients constantly, and I love to do that because it's not boring and it's fun and people can come back three or four times and say, oh you got something new in the skillet. So it's - I had a great day. I was there for two days at the tournament. I had a wonderful time.

SIEGEL: Well, Paul Prudhomme, chef and victim of a golf course shooting, if we can call it that, thanks a lot for talking with us.

Mr. PRUDHOMME: You're welcome. Have a great day, good cooking, good eating, good loving and we love you guys.

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