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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.

  • Louisiana Eats, Poppy Tooker, Chance in Hell Snoballs, Kitten and Lou, Marc Ardoin, Rouses Freret Street, Chef Alfredo Nogueira,Vals,Juan Nogueira,, Ray Bordelon, BJ Bordelon, ,Southern Food and Beverage Museum
  • Between 1880 and 1920 over four million Italians immigrated to the U.S., with the majority of Sicilians coming through the port of New Orleans. Their influence here can be found in the food and in the language where special words like niespuli and cucuzza proliferate. On this week's show, we survey those Sicilian connections to learn new things about this place we call home.We begin with Elisa Speranza, author of "The Italian Prisoner." Elisa was inspired to write her debut novel after hearing stories of Italian POWs housed in New Orleans during World War II. After Italy switched sides in 1943, these former enemies became part of the American war effort and the city's make up.Then, Liz Williams joins us with memories of her Sicilian grandmother, Nana Elisabetta, who arrived in the Crescent City at the age of 18. Her new book, "Nana’s Creole Italian Table," is filled with recipes and family lore.Then, we hear from New Orleans food historian Laura Guccione, whose family hails from Alia, Sicily. With her background in botany, Laura has long been fascinated by a local fruit tree, often referred to as the Japanese plum, which proliferates wildly on the island of Sicily. Her linguistic look at the fruit can be found on New Orleans Historical. Finally, we sit down with Sal Impastato of the renowned Napoleon House clan. Sal tells us the story of the business that was family-owned and -operated for almost a century, before he handed over the keys to Ralph Brennan in 2015.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • Tales of the Cocktail is back! After a two-year hiatus, one which was held virtually, what is arguably the biggest alcohol event in the world will take place again this year during the last week of July. In honor of the 20th anniversary of one of the wettest events to ever hit New Orleans, on this week's show, we explore all things alcohol and non-alcohol.In recent years, Tales has become increasingly conscious of the need for balance in a life behind the bar – the inspiration for their Beyond the Bar initiative, which has introduced physical and mental self-care sessions at the event, along with a focus on low- or no-alcohol products. That's where Lauren Chitwood of Spiritless comes in. She tells us about the development of her alcohol-free line of liquor that is a dead ringer for the real thing when mixed in a cocktail glass.At his bar and restaurant, Latitude 29 in New Orleans, tiki revivalist Jeff "Beachbum" Berry serves up much harder stuff – lavishly garnished cocktails with historical significance. We speak with him about the history of tiki bars in the U.S. and their global comeback, which was fueled in no small part by his first book, Beachbum Berry's Grog Log.Then, we stop by Wetlands Sake, Louisiana's first sake brewery. That favorite drink of Japan is now being made right off of Tchoupitoulas Street using Louisiana rice.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • When it comes to sharing our authentic food culture, there is no family as influential over time as the Brennans of New Orleans. Almost 80 years ago, Owen Brennan got the party started at the Old Absinthe House. Since that time, the family has grown and prospered, giving us all a wonderful time along the way.On this week's show, we sit down for the first time with the fourth generation of one of America's premiere food families. We hear from Ralph Brennan's kids Kathryn Brennan McLeod and her brother Patrick, Dickie Brennan's daughter Sarah and his nephew (Lauren Brennan's son) Geordie Brower, and the cousin who is guaranteed to spice things up, president of Baumer Foods, Inc., Pepper Baumer.
  • In August 1971, a food revolution was quietly launched in California with the opening of a small Berkeley bistro called Chez Panisse. At a time when pre-packaged fast food was all the rage in the U.S., Chez Panisse created dishes using locally sourced meats and farm-to-table produce. The fabled restaurant became an incubator for the Slow Food movement and sparked a change in attitudes toward food across America.
  • Whether it's newly built or has been in your family for generations, your home is your refuge and sanctuary. It's where you nurture your family and where friends come to call. On this week's show, we have lots of friends who have come a-calling with advice on how to make your home the spot where everyone wants to be.We begin with Beau Ciolino and Matt Armato. You may know them from their wildly popular lifestyle blog, Probably This. With a love of DIY projects, the couple has spent years transforming spaces without breaking the bank. They collected all that good advice together, along with entertainment tips, in their new book, Housewarming: A Guide to Creating a Home You Adore.
  • “Farming,” according to poet Brett Brian, “is a profession of hope.” On this week’s show, we introduce you to sons and daughters of the soil who are living their dreams on the land. We begin in St. Tammany Parish with Monica Bourgeois and Neil Gernon, founders of the small-batch wine company, Vending Machine Wines. The New Orleans couple has been making wine in Napa Valley since 2009, operating the business from their native Louisiana. Their newest venture, WIld Bush Farm & Vineyard finds the two overhauling 13 acres of a former winery in the rural Northshore town of Bush. There, Monica and Neil hope to create a perfect location for winemaking in our state.Then, we visit JD Farms in Poplarville, Mississippi, where Donald Van De Werken and Jeff Brown have been growing the biggest, sweetest, best blueberries in the region. Unsweetened blueberry juice is just one of a myriad of products they've created with their short but delicious annual crop.Finally, we speak with Philip Jones, sixth generation chairman and CEO of Jones Dairy Farm in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. The ingredients that make up their signature breakfast sausage are the same today as they were when his forebearer Milo C. Jones founded the company in 1889. It may surprise you to learn that their products have been a favorite on Louisiana breakfast tables for almost a century.
  • On this week's show, we’re joined by seasoned spice experts who want to shake up the way you think about spices. We begin with Linda Shiue, a doctor and chef who guides her patients to cook healthier meals by harnessing the power of spices. Linda was just starting to spread the word about spices when we first met her in 2016. Now she's back in our studio on the heels of publishing her new book, Spicebox Kitchen: Eat Well and Be Healthy with Globally Inspired, Vegetable-Forward Recipes.
  • You can’t always get what you want. That’s been especially true during these unpredictable times. Now more than ever, there’s something comforting about the familiar – like a restaurant where you can order exactly what you want off the menu and are greeted with a smile whenever you walk through the door.That’s the experience of anyone who walks into Liz’s Where Y’at Diner – one of the happiest places north of Lake Pontchartrain. From the palm trees to the peace signs to the tie-dyed t-shirts, everything about Liz Munson’s diner is laid back. On this week’s show, we speak with Liz, who tells us about her special kind of hospitality, served up with a killer crab meat grilled cheese sandwich.Then, we learn about a crowd-pleasing muffuletta for sale in San Francisco, prepared each day by Peterson Harter at his pop up Sandy's SF. Though he’s far from home, the New Orleans chef has developed a following by staying true to his culinary roots.And you can’t make it as an entrepreneur unless you’ve got a good sense of what people want. 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.Finally, we explore food as medicine and an act of love with Merissa Nathan Gerson, author of, "Forget Prayers, Bring Cake." Merissa shares an honest, unwavering look at her life during her year of grieving, and how she learned to listen to her own needs in a time of suffering.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • It’s Week Two of the 2022 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and after a two-year hiatus, that’s something to celebrate! On this week's show, Louisiana Eats is back at the track with more stories of the food, fun, and feasting that's been going on there for half a century.