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Louisiana Eats

  • What do a group of Buddhist monks, a New Orleans-based Chinese bakery, and a non-profit that educates young girls in Nepal all have in common? Why, dumplings, of course! This week, we explore three groups of people who are doing their best to make their mark on the world and the role that dumplings play in each of their stories.First, local chef Angela Wilson tells us about Empower Nepali Girls, a group dedicated to providing education to young women, whose opportunities are otherwise as landlocked as their South Asian country.Next, we hear from Aisha Chen of Wishing Town Bakery, who, along with Vivi and Kevin Zhen, is helping expand New Orleanians' palates with a creative take on traditional Chinese desserts and dim sum.Finally, we take part in an extraordinary evening, when a lucky gathering of locals eats a traditional Tibetan meal, prepared by visiting Buddhist monks.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • In the culinary world, there are many different roads to success. Some are longer and more winding than others. On this week's show, we speak with chefs who have traveled far – literally and figuratively – to find career fulfillment in New Orleans.We begin with Nina Compton of Compére Lapin and Bywater American Bistro, the first Black female chef to receive the coveted James Beard "Best Chef" nod. Nina tells us about her path from the Caribbean and England to New York and Miami, and why she chooses to call New Orleans home.Then, we hear from Merritt Cosha and Tyler Stuart – two Americans who traveled across India to educate themselves on the culture and flavors of the subcontinent. The couple's passion for regional Indian cuisine is on display at their restaurant, Plume Algiers on New Orleans' Westbank.Finally, we sit down with Mason Hereford who talks about his culinary journey from working in barroom kitchens and fancy restaurants to running four acclaimed local eateries, including his flagship sandwich shop, Turkey and the Wolf.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.
  • Summertime is upon us – a time that often means travel, vacation fun, and family reunions. But to many Louisianians, summertime means hunger – and our children are the most vulnerable. When school is in session, breakfast and lunch are provided five days a week, but without extra support in the summer, that equates to missing 40 meals a month. Luckily, here in New Orleans, some big-hearted hospitality industry folks are stepping up to help.
  • On this week's Louisiana Eats, we're traveling down south to Argentina! Late last year, host Poppy Tooker made the long trek to Buenos Aires, where she discovered a cosmopolitan city that sometimes felt like Paris and sometimes seemed like Manhattan.
  • Traditionally, the concept of sustainability referred to making enough money to keep a restaurant, or any business, up and running. In recent years, however, the term has expanded to take into account maintaining the environment that provides the raw materials businesses use. This is especially true for restaurants – businesses that would simply not exist if the supply of meat, fish, and plant-based food were not sustained. On this week's show, we hear from two chefs and a farmer who are doing their part to provide for their customers, while finding ways to live in harmony with the planet.
  • Chinese cooking has been a part of the American dining scene since the mid-1800s and remains an integral aspect of the industry today. This week, we take an in-depth look at the Chinese restaurant tradition from a variety of perspectives.
  • As Fat Tuesday draws near, we've got a second helping of Mardi Gras fun for you! Most people are familiar with the images of Carnival revelry: the crowds, parades, and flowing libations. But like every other season in New Orleans, Mardi Gras is also all about the food.
  • This week, we take a look at three Louisiana companies that each have satisfied local appetites for the last 100 years. We begin with Vince Hayward, CEO of Camellia Brand. We also hear from Pepper Baumer, third-generation producer of Crystal Hot Sauce, before heading to Ponchatoula to visit Elmer Chocolate, the candy company behind Heavenly Hash – a popular Easter treat that commemorated the century mark in 2023.
  • December is upon us, and we're making merry this festive season by discovering new mixed drinks and getting the stories behind some iconic cocktails.
  • Japan may once have seemed like a world away, but the most delicious elements of Japanese food and drink culture have become increasingly embedded in our American psyche. On this week's show, we celebrate the complexity and craftsmanship of Japanese drinking culture.