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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.

  • On this week's show, we gather around the table to delve into Thanksgiving stories and recipes. We begin with Chef Kevin Belton. The public television host shares childhood memories of his mother, Sarah Thomas Belton who took Thanksgiving hospitality to a whole new level.Next, we visit with Sara Roahen, author of Gumbo Tales, who endeavored to make the late, great Paul Prudhomme's legendary turducken recipe in her home kitchen.We also hear the origin story of Spinach Madeleine from its creator, Madeleine Wright. A recipe originally published in the Junior League of Baton Rouge's cookbook, River Road Recipes, Madeleine's dish has been a sensation across the country since 1959.And finally, we get pie advice from Kate McDermott, also known as "the Piechiatrist." Kate has hosted workshops and written books on the craft of pie-making, including the James Beard Award-nominated title, The Art of the Pie.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • On this week's show, we’re trekking across the Causeway once again to explore the culinary scene in St. Tammany Parish. We begin at Backwater Farmstead in the rural town of Bush, Louisiana. There, Ross McKnight and his family make foie gras, a luxury food they hope to make more accessible in our state.After we tour the farm, we head over Olde Town Slidell to meet Jeremy and Alyssa Reilly of Restaurant Cote and the Maple Room. These high school sweethearts have carved out a very special place in the hearts and stomachs of the Slidell community for nearly 10 years.We then speak with Nick Asprodites, the proprietor of two dockside restaurants and bars: the original Blue Crab on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain and a second iteration at the Pointe Marina in Slidell.Finally, we meet Chef Jeff Mattia. Jeff opened his first restaurant, Pyre Provisions, in Covington just months before the Covid-19 pandemic began. Though Pyre Provisions closed its doors this year, Jeff has found continued success in his newest restaurant concept, Pyre BBQ on the Mandeville Trace.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • This year, Americans are expected to spend upwards of 3.4 billion dollars to decorate their homes for Halloween. But here in New Orleans, we don’t have to decorate – we're just plain old spooky already!On this year's Halloween edition of Louisiana Eats, we go Garden District ghost hunting with Kristen Dugas before we welcome nationally renowned psychic Cari Roy – along with ghost-busting, equipment-toting Misti Gaither – into Poppy's Canal Boulevard home. The house was built for Angelina Prima in 1956 by her famous musician son, Louis, and she apparently still likes to hang around there. Finally, we stop off at two of New Orleans' Cities of the Dead with cemetery authority, Sally Asher, owner and operator of Red Sash Tours.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • Where are you from? While what we eat may reveal our origins, it can also reflect our life's travels from one home to another. Chef Anh Luu was born in New Orleans to parents who emigrated to the United States from Vietnam. She discovered her love of restaurants at the age of 15 when she first began working the line. When Katrina blew Anh and her family to Portland, Oregon, she became a pioneer of Viet-Cajun cuisine – an amalgamation of her Vietnamese and Louisiana heritage. She's now back in New Orleans, serving up her signature dishes at Bywater Brew Pub.We also speak with Vishwish Bhatt of Snackbar in Oxford, Mississippi and Jacqueline Blanchard of Sukeban in New Orleans.
  • What does family mean to you? For the folks on this week's show, when it comes to food, family means everything. NOCCA Culinary Arts student and Chopped Junior champion Retiba Hagazzi is a perfect example of that. The bright, ambitious teenager learned how to love people through food from her father, Khalid. They share that love with the world every time their food truck, Sittoo's Kitchen pulls up. They join us in the studio to share their story.Jarred Zeringue of Wayne Jacob's Smokehouse perpetuates generational old food love at the LaPlace landmark. When the Vacherie-born chef acquired the business in 2016, he made sure to keep the Jacob's family recipes authentic, in part because of the vital role they played in his own family’s food traditions. We talk with him about the smokehouse and his new book, Southern and Smoked: Cajun Cooking through the Seasons.Finally, we speak with keepers of the Poor Boy flame, John and his son Jason Gendusa. The Gendusa family bakery has been inextricably tied to that famous New Orleans sandwich since 1929. We’re celebrating their bakery's centennial by hearing the story of how it all began.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • How do you create a life's legacy? If you've ever had a bite of Chef Frank Brigtsen's authentic Creole cooking, you've tasted it. From 1978 through the early ’80s, Chef Frank earned his culinary stripes in the kitchens of Commander's Palace and K-Paul's, working under the watchful eye of Paul Prudhomme. Building on those years of apprenticeship, in 1986, he opened Brigtsen's Restaurant to local and national critical acclaim. The legendary New Orleans chef joins us to look back at his 50-year career in hospitality.If you were ever fortunate enough to imbibe in a drink crafted by legendary British bartender Dick Bradsell, you certainly had a sip of his legacy. He created several cocktails that are now considered to be modern classics, most notably the Espresso Martini. His daughter, Bea Bradsell, is busy carrying on in her late father's footsteps and shares his story with us.Over at Turkey and the Wolf, you'll find legacy in the making as that brash, bold, and fearless Mason Hereford is hard at work turning fine dining on its ear. The best part is, no one is more surprised by success than Mason! He's back on the show again to tell us about his journey from working in barroom kitchens and fancy restaurants to running two acclaimed New Orleans eateries.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • In the last few years, many people have turned to home baking as a distraction, as solace, and for fun. But nothing beats the sweet and inventive creations of a professional pastry chef. On this week's show, we get a peek into the lives and careers of those behind the rolling pin.We begin with internet cake sensation Bronwen Wyatt of Bayou St. Cake. Bronwen's cakes are not only delicious but visually arresting, with designs that draw on the baker's art school education. We learn the role social media played in her launching her small cake company in 2020.Then, we sit down with Kelly Jacques and Samantha Weiss, who are bringing freshly baked joy to New Orleans' Marigny neighborhood through their new bakery café, Ayu Bakehouse. They discuss how their education and friendship evolved over the years, leading to their shared vision being realized on Frenchmen Street.Finally, we hear about the illustrious career of Jacquy Pfeiffer, the James Beard Award-winning pastry chef who helped found The French Pastry School in Chicago and whose quest to win the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (France's top pastry prize) was the subject of a documentary by D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • According to Matthew Raiford, when it comes to American haute cuisine, one need look no further than the South. On this week's show, we explore the possibilities of Southern cuisine with celebrated authors and chefs – beginning with Matthew Raiford. The self-described CheFarmer is spreading the good word of his Gullah Geechee heritage through a new book, Bress 'n' Nyam.Then, culinary superstar Sean Brock joins us to discuss his award-winning tome, "South." In the book, Sean breaks down the essential elements of Southern cuisine, from corn bread to shrimp and grits, highlighting regional differences in certain dishes.We also speak with author Ronni Lundy, who helps us break through some of the myths surrounding the isolated Appalachian region. Ronni discusses the intrinsic link between Southern Appalachians and their victuals.Finally, we sit down with Edward Lee. Raised in Brooklyn to Korean parents, the celebrity chef found his soul in Kentucky. In his book, "Buttermilk Graffiti," Edward shares stories of his personal journey to discover America’s new melting pot cuisine in the south.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • 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.