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Louisiana Yambilee Festival

Submitted by on October 25, 2010 – 12:53 amNo Comment

Chef Paul Prudhomme (pictured) has cooked for two Presidents, myriad heads of states and countless American troops across the globe. But he has never reigned as a king — until now. He’s been tapped to reign over the 65th Annual Louisiana Yambilee Festival in his hometown of Opelousas, Louisiana. Set for October 27-31, 2010, the Yambilee features a week of pageants, cooking competitions, carnival, zydeco, Cajun music, arts and crafts, and the Grand Louisiyam Parade.

His official coronation will be held October 30, 2010. The Yambilee parade, complete with marching bands, floats and dignitaries, rolls through Opelousas, a town of 25,000, the next day.

Born in 1940 into an Opelousas family of 13, children, Prudhomme spent hours in the kitchen by his mother’s side. In his 20s, he traveled across the United States, absorbing culinary flavors and cultural customs from coast to coast. That knowledge and experience resulted in K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, a New Orleans restaurant that remains a foodie destination. (And, yes, your Road Trips Foodie has dined there!) Prudhomme’s seasoning secrets also gave birth to Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends, products that are distributed in all 50 states and 25 countries.

The Yambilee festival in Louisiana’s third oldest city started in 1946 as an event to honor the state and local sweet potato industry. The yam’s history in the area dates back to 1760, when French explorers discovered Native Americans eating sweet potatoes. The yam became a favorite of early settlers who established a trading post 1765 in Opelousas.

For more information on visiting Saint Landry Parish in Louisiana, go online.

(Photo courtesy of Saint Landry Parish)

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