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Covid-19 Crisis: Keeping Calm By Keeping Busy


Since the coronavirus shutdown, Louisiana Eats has been presenting voices from the hospitality community. This week, we hear from New Orleans restaurant owners and chefs who were interviewed as part of a documentary by filmmakers Jonathan Evans and Marian Gay.

We begin with chefs and roommates Cristina Quackenbush and Hayley Vanvleet. Before the shutdown, Cristina ran her pop-up Milkfish at the Broad Theater, and Hayley served as executive chef at Belle Époque in the French Quarter. Since then, the pair have been cooking from home and offering a delivery service.

Then, we hear from Isaac Toups of Toups Meatery. Since before the March 15 mandate, Isaac and his team have been sharing their 3pm daily staff meal with anyone in the industry in need, while continuing to conduct take out seven days a week.  As the need has mushroomed, so has the quantity of meals Isaac and his crew are putting out.

With the sudden loss of business due to COVID-19, most restaurants were impelled to furlough or lay off staff. Alon & Emily Shaya of Saba and restauranteur Dickie Brennan have been seeking out ways to bring people back into their ranks safely while they figure out how best to support a city in crisis.

Finally, we hear from Charly Pierre, the head chef and owner of Fritai, which offers Haitian street food at the St. Roch Market. It was one of the food hall’s most successful stalls until the dining room was closed to the public.

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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.