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Louisiana Eats!
Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Mondays at 8 p.m.

Louisiana Eats! is a radio show for people who cook and people who love to eat well—all with a Louisiana point of view and Poppy’s distinctive Louisiana voice.
 
In each program listeners join Poppy as she meets people who produce, cook, and eat the foods we enjoy and treasure — exploring kitchens and stores, farms and waterways where favorite foods are produced and prepared. And because Louisianans love all kinds of food, Poppy won’t limit herself to shrimp creole and hot sauce!

Latest Episodes
  • The life of a chef is often regarded as glamorous and exciting, but in reality it’s a hard life – exemplified by long hours and frequent financial challenges. For many, it’s the only life imaginable.Nathanial Zimet, the ambitious chef behind Boucherie and Bourrée in New Orleans, falls directly into that category. Drawn to the restaurant business at the age of 15, the North Carolina native soon learned it was the only career for him. On this week's show, we sit down with Nathanial to explore what led him from London's Le Cordon Bleu to his purple food truck in New Orleans, where his culinary life here began.From Hurricane Katrina to a near fatal shooting in 2011 – the indomitable Nathaniel has risen to the top, again and again.So has Troy Ball, a charming Southern belle, whose hobby as a moonshiner became a means of helping her family survive. Troy’s memoir, Pure Heart, tells a very personal story of how a bankrupt mother with two profoundly disabled sons found happiness and financial success while becoming the first legal female moonshiner in Southern history.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • This edition of Louisiana Eats takes a look back at the year that was 2021 – its challenges and its losses. Many restaurants and bars have closed their doors in the last two years, but when JoAnn Clevenger announced that New Orleans' beloved Upperline Restaurant would not reopen after initially closing due to the pandemic in March 2020, the entire city reeled with the news. We revisit our conversation with JoAnn from 2016.The future of the English Tea Room & Eatery in Covington seemed in doubt when news broke of owner Tim Lantrip's accident. Hit by a truck while crossing Boston Street in October, for a while it was uncertain if he would recover. Fortunately, his wife Jan, who has also been his business partner for the last 20 years, reports he's making progress every day in his recovery while she and the devoted employees keep the fires burning at the English Tea Room. We revisit a lovely tea we enjoyed with the Lantrips in spring 2021 to remind us all what an important piece of the Northshore their tea room is.And then, we remember Daphne Derven who passed away in October of 2021. A New Orleans resident since 2009, Daphne made her mark on the city's urban farming and agriculture scene before becoming the Curator of Education at the Historic New Orleans Collection where she was instrumental in developing the new children’s education wing at their Royal Street facility.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • It's the time of year for gathering together family and friends to celebrate all that has been and all that will be. An important element to all those spirited celebrations are the spirits themselves. On this week's show, we look at cocktail culture and mixed drinks perfect for any type of get together.We begin with T. Cole Newton, one of New Orleans' premiere bartenders and bar owners. His book, Cocktail Dive Bar, not only shares recipes from his famed Mid-City hangout Twelve Mile Limit, but also imparts plenty of thoughtful wisdom Cole has garnered from over a decade in business.Then, we learn the story of one of the Crescent City's most charming after-dinner traditions. First-time author Sue Strachan shares her knowledge of Café Brûlot, also the name of her book.And how many bottles does it take to make a bar? Lesley Jacobs Solmonson and David Solmonson, authors of The 12 Bottle Bar, provide advice on holiday entertaining and wise ways to imbibe.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • Food just tastes better when you know the farmer who grew it, the beekeeper who spun the honey from the hive, or the cottage producer of some delicious new fermentation purchased from your farmers market. On this week's show, we meet them all.We begin at JD Farms in Poplarville, Mississippi, where Donald Van De Werken and Jeff Brown have been growing the biggest, sweetest, best blueberries in the region. Then we visit with Matthew Raiford, self-described CheFarmer who is spreading the good word of his Gullah Geechee heritage through a new book, Bress 'n' Nyam.Finally, we travel to Northern California to visit the apiary of beekeeping guru Spencer Marshall of Marshall's Farms, before meeting New Orleanians Adam Orzechowski and Emily Shoemaker of Farm to Funk Ferments.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • There's no denying the last two years have been a major challenge for everyone. Between the pandemic and the surge of natural disasters across the nation, we've seen it all. On this week's show, we learn how people are coping from coast to coast.We begin in New Orleans with Chef Eric Cook, who battled to keep his first restaurant Gris-Gris open in 2020 while somehow finding the inspiration to open his second, Saint John this year. Eric shares the story of his viral open letter to the city published at a make-or-break moment for Gris-Gris, which articulated the impossible situation he and other restaurateurs found themselves in dealing with the pandemic in the summer of 2020.Then, Gibson Thomas, publisher and editor of Edible Marin & Wine Country Magazine, shares the latest on how vintners are adapting to an ongoing series of wildfires burning across California.Finally, we meet Peterson Harter, a Crescent City native and entrepreneur, who has become an advocate for mental health in the Bay Area while operating his popular sandwich pop up, Sandy's SF.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • New Orleans is well known for its legacy restaurant families. And now, just across the Mississippi River in Gretna, the Mandina clan is poised to claim its own place in our culinary pantheon. On this week's show, we meet three generations of family who have made Tony Mandina’s a Westbank culinary institution.We begin with the restaurant’s namesake founder and his wife Grace Blanchard Mandina. Having no prior experience in the business, the couple ran the restaurant with help from members of their extended family. Grace shares stories of some pitfalls and laughs in those early days, when the ragtag team found themselves having to make it up as they went along.The Mandinas’ Sicilian roots make their story a particularly rich and delicious one. We learn about the family's history, which can be traced back to Salaparuta, a town in southwest Sicily. Tony recounts the first time he met his aunts in the Old Country in 1960. Ever since then, the family has maintained a connection to their family across the Atlantic, even forging new relationships with distant cousins, resulting in an import/export business.Tony and Grace's three daughters began working in their parents' restaurant as children. In 2020, middle daughter Kolette Mandina-Ditta took over the reins of Tony Mandina's, along with her daughter Lindsey Marcel. Both of them join us in the studio to discuss growing up in the restaurant, and Kolette describes what motivated her to write "Tony Mandina’s Kitchen," a new book featuring a collection of family history and recipes.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • How does a recipe become a retail offering? On this week's show, we track the path of great dishes and drinks from restaurant to retail. We begin with the Bayou State's spiciest new business, Louisiana Pepper Exchange. Founder and CEO Chris White tells the story of how a particular engineering feat of his led him to launch the new company.
  • Located less than an hour from the New Orleans' French Quarter, Baton Rouge, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, St. Tammany Parish has long been a favorite vacation spot. The allure of piney woods, fresh air, charming historic towns, and delicious food has beckoned visitors for over a century. On this week's show, we take you along with us as we cross Lake Pontchartrain to meet some chefs and restaurateurs on Louisiana's Northshore.
  • Halloween is upon us and there's something spooky in the air! On this week's show, we have some very special treats (and no tricks – we promise!). We begin with Sally Asher, owner and operator of Red Sash Tours. On Halloweens past, Sally has taken us on special tours of St. Louis Cemetery No. 3. This year, we tour two different New Orleans graveyards in search of our dearly departed restaurateurs, barflies, and forgotten food luminaries.
  • In 2011, Jessica Harris wrote “High on the Hog,” a book that traces the origins of African American food. Ten years later, it has become the basis of the hit Netflix docuseries of the same name. On this show, Dr. Harris sheds light on the resilience and inventiveness of Black cooks who shaped American cuisine.