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.

Ways to Connect

Ora King Winner Jonathan Granada
Poppy Tooker / Louisiana Eats

Ora King is a sustainably raised salmon from New Zealand with a delicious history. On this week’s show, we travel to three cities to meet three chefs—all finalists in an international competition to create the most inventive Ora King salmon dish.

  

  It’s that haunting time of year again, when pumpkins glow and black cats screech, and you can be guaranteed we’re ghost hunting on this week’s show!

 

To begin, we share a supernatural encounter at Tableau Restaurant on Jackson Square. Suffice it to say, Tableau’s ghosts know how to make the bottles fly better than any bartender.

 

On this week's show, we'll explore the immense influence that Italian foodways had on the development of New Orleans cuisine. We'll time travel through the years of the family-operated Uptown gem, Pascal's Manale. This history, which is now immortalized in Poppy's new book, The Pascal's Manale Cookbook, focuses on two Sicilian immigrant families, the Manales and the Radostas, forebearers of today's Defelice clan, who continue the Manale tradition today. Three generations of family share their stories with us.

Library of Congress

On this week’s show, we’re sharing untold stories of lives spent in service. 

 

We begin with a tour of the Kemper-Williams Residence at the Historic New Orleans Collection with decorative arts curator Lydia Blackmore, who conducted exhaustive research on the individuals who worked for the Williams family.

Poppy Tooker with The Landrys
Reggie Morris / Louisiana Eats

On this week’s show, we’re celebrating all things pescatarian across Louisiana. To begin, we travel from Port Sulphur to Barataria Bay for a taste of authentic Louisiana seafood with the Landry family of Don’s Seafood. The Landrys host us at their fishing camp and share stories that have been passed down through the generations.

 

Host Poppy Tooker with Alon Shaya
Joe Shriner / Louisiana Eats

On this week’s show, we follow three chefs on their journeys from cooks to culinary entrepreneurs. 

We begin with New Orleans chef Alon Shaya, who recently launched a new company, Pomegranate Hospitality. Alon describes his path, starting from unassuming culinary origins in Philadelphia, to his tenure at Domenica, and finally, to the evolving theory of Diasporic foodways that underlies his two new modern Israeli restaurants, Saba and Safta.

Poppy Tooker and Tim Etherington-Judge
Reggie Morris / Louisiana Eats

The suicide of Anthony Bourdain in June sent shock waves through the world, but especially the industry he loved. Since then, the conversation about mental health in the hospitality community has come into sharp focus. On this week's show, we speak with individuals close to the issue who gathered in New Orleans in July as part of Tales of the Cocktail's new Beyond The Bar initiative. Intended to help the hospitality industry take care of its own, Beyond the Bar offered compelling seminars on wellness and recovery.

Poppy at Slow Foods Nations
Joe Shriner / Louisiana Eats


  On this week's show, we're bringing listeners along to Slow Food Nations 2018 in Denver, Colorado. The event celebrates slow and sustainable food systems through summits, workshops, and a street festival.


On this week’s show, we take a look at immigration and its impact on the American food landscape.

We begin with Rick Bayless, whose award-winning Frontera restaurants are bolstered by workers who come from immigrant backgrounds. Rick explains how many of his staff members were brought to the country as children and are now facing an uncertain future.

  On this week's show, we meet the great Dario Cecchini, a world renowned Italian butcher. Dickie Brennan invited the Cecchini family to New Orleans earlier this year to return the exceptional hospitality Dario had extended to Dickie’s son, Richard Brennan III, who served as Dario’s apprentice in Italy.

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