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Poppy Tooker

Poppy Tooker

Host of Louisiana Eats!

Poppy is the host and executive producer of the weekly show, Louisiana Eats! Food personality, culinary teacher and author, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table.

Poppy provides weekly restaurant commentary on, “Steppin’ Out” (WYES TV). Her book, The Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook received a Tabasco cookbook award and was named “Cookbook of the Year” by New Orleans Magazine.She was recognized by the Times-Picayune as a “Hero of the Storm” for her work reviving New Orleans restaurants and food providers following Hurricane Katrina. The International Association of Cooking Professionals recognized Poppy’s rebuilding efforts at their annual conference in April 2008, with their first ever, Community Service Award.

For over 25 years, Poppy’s cooking classes have centered on history and tradition as well as the food science behind her preparation.

  • Across the Bayou State, people are taking their destiny into their own hands and pursuing entrepreneurial dreams of owning their own business. On this week’s show, we encounter a Louisiana-style cornucopia of self-starters who forged their own path to find success in the sphere of food.We begin with Alfonzo Bolden, who, along with his brother Troy, is co-CEO of Cajun Nation Cajun Seasoning Company, based out of Lafayette. While there's no denying their food talents, Alfonzo and Troy's true genius lies in knowing just when to trademark a name – which for them, often precedes the product concept.Seafood City's famed Al Scramuzza had a product – but needed to create a market for it.Al shares the story of his early role in catalyzing today's crawfish craze.Then, we visit a marketplace that acts as a local incubator for budding food entrepreneurs. We sample the goods at the Pop-Up On Tchoup – a weekly makers market that Rouses hosts on Saturdays at their Uptown New Orleans store.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • Whether it's loss due to recent hurricanes or the overwhelming, devastating loss suffered the world over during the pandemic, grief has been an unwelcome guest in many people's lives these days. On this week's show, we take a look at grief, its effects, and the gifts that sometimes accompany it.We begin with Merissa Nathan Gerson, a new New Orleanians whose time here has been gravely marked by the unexpected death of her father. In her new book, "Forget Prayers, Bring Cake" Merissa shares an honest, unwavering look at her life during her year of grieving.
  • Between the levee and the Mississippi River is the batture – a lively slip of wilderness that a tiny community calls home. There's batture land right here in the midst of metropolitan New Orleans – but unless you're lucky enough to know a batture dweller, there's a good chance you weren't aware of one of the city’s most unconventional neighborhoods.That was certainly true of Macon Fry when he arrived in New Orleans in the 1980s. After a chance encounter with a batture resident at a local watering hole, Macon got his first glimpse of life on the river's edge and became so entranced that he built himself a life there. His obsession with the batture ultimately led him to publish his new book, "They Called Us River Rats: The Last Batture Settlement of New Orleans." Macon joins us in the studio to discuss his decades of research about lives spent there in relative obscurity.
  • Back in the early days of television, the Public Broadcasting System blazed the trail in the genre of food TV with the one and only Julia Child, whose series, The French Chef, changed the way Americans cook and eat.On this week’s show, we sit down with PBS's newest sensation, Chef Kevin Belton, whose fourth series, Kevin Belton's Cooking Louisiana, is being aired in homes across the nation. Kevin shares what he learned while shooting his latest venture, which features food from across our delectable state.
  • After a few glorious months where it looked as if the worst of the pandemic was behind us, a new surge of Covid-19 is now bearing down on Louisiana with a vengeance. A new enemy variant called Delta is coming after us - and this time, it’s after our children. With cases projected to peak sometime between September and November, elected officials and business leaders are weighing new measures to stem the outbreak. On this episode of Louisiana Eats we look back to how life was in the spring of 2020 and then fast forward to the current Covid situation in Louisiana.
  • From cakes to croissants to pralines – Louisiana has an affection for confection. This week, we satiate our sweet tooth with the help of some delightful dessert makers.
  • After a year’s delay, the Summer Olympic Games are officially underway. Over 11,000 athletes from 205 countries are gathered in Tokyo, looking to bring home the gold in everything from archery to water polo. On this week's show, we raise a glass to intercontinental camaraderie by tasting five exotic spirits produced across the globe.
  • From cuccidati to olive salad to St. Joseph Day altars, Sicilan foodways and traditions have had an immense influence on our state's cuisine and culture. On this week’s show, we talk with Louisiana natives who share a deep love and respect for their Sicilian heritage.We begin with Grace and Tony Mandina, whose family-run restaurant on the West Bank, Tony Mandina’s, has been welcoming guests in true Old World style for nearly 40 years. Those Mandinas are one in a million – good, hardworking folks for whom la familia always comes first.
  • According to ancient Chinese legend, the discovery of tea was made in 2737 BC by Emperor Shen Nung while he was sitting under a tree as his servant boiled water. When some leaves of the tree fell into the water and the emperor consumed the accidental infusion, the course of hot beverages changed forever.The emperor was seated under a Camellia sinensis – the same plant where most teas are still derived from today. And believe it or not, Southern Mississippi appears to be an ideal environment for Camellia sinensis cultivation. On this week's show, we take you straight to the tea farm to meet adventurous farmers Donald Van De Werken and Jeff Brown of Pearl River Tea Company.
  • On this week's show, we take a journey into the Ice Cream Underground to uncover the magicians taking America's favorite dessert to new heights right here in Louisiana. We begin with Sam Caruso, who has overcome a host of challenges to find a sweet opportunity with Laozi Ice Cream.