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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.

  • 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.
  • The old adage is that a woman's place is in the kitchen. Despite that well-worn saying, it wasn't until the second half of the 20th century that women began finding their place in the restaurant kitchen. For this week's show, we gather together a powerful group of females who are breaking barriers and setting new standards for excellence in their fields.
  • Louisiana Eats: Drag Yourself To Brunch
  • The beignet. That simple square of fried dough is undeniably one of the Crescent City’s most famous foods. Few visitors leave town without a ceremonial dusting of powdered sugar that occurs with every beignet bite. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the ubiquitous donut has been sold from French Market stands accompanied by steaming hot cups of café au lait. Twenty-first century chefs and restaurateurs have taken that simple fried dough to new heights, filling them with ingredients both savory and sweet and featuring them on menus far from home.
  • Building a cookbook is a lot of work. From recipe testing to photography sessions to finalized editing – the process can be grueling. On this week's show, we hear how it gets done from beginning to end and meet some authors who fell in love with cookbooks at an early age.
  • It's full on festival time in the state that knows how to fest better than most – except once again, due to pandemic restrictions, there are no fests right now. Though with vaccines widely available, and the recent easing of Covid-19 rules, a future with safe public gatherings suddenly doesn’t seem so implausible. Inspired by WWOZ and local restaurants whipping up everything from cheesy crawfish bread to high-proof strawberry lemonade, on this week's show, we look back at some of our favorite festival experiences as we gaze hopefully into the future.
  • On this week's show, we meet some folks who have moved on to new adventures in their lives. We begin with Chef Steve Himelfarb and his wife Becky Retz. In the summer of 2020, they closed their beloved bakery, the Cake Café, after 13 years of business. But this isn't the first major life change for them. Long before there was a Cake Café, Steve worked solely as a music engineer and producer – doing Grammy-nominated work with artists like Buckwheat Zydeco and Beausoleil. We hear about his career in music and food and learn about the new Cake Café Cookbook.