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Poppy Tooker

  • 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
  • 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
  • Tales of the Cocktail is back! After a two-year hiatus, one which was held virtually, what is arguably the biggest alcohol event in the world will take place again this year during the last week of July. In honor of the 20th anniversary of one of the wettest events to ever hit New Orleans, on this week's show, we explore all things alcohol and non-alcohol.In recent years, Tales has become increasingly conscious of the need for balance in a life behind the bar – the inspiration for their Beyond the Bar initiative, which has introduced physical and mental self-care sessions at the event, along with a focus on low- or no-alcohol products. That's where Lauren Chitwood of Spiritless comes in. She tells us about the development of her alcohol-free line of liquor that is a dead ringer for the real thing when mixed in a cocktail glass.At his bar and restaurant, Latitude 29 in New Orleans, tiki revivalist Jeff "Beachbum" Berry serves up much harder stuff – lavishly garnished cocktails with historical significance. We speak with him about the history of tiki bars in the U.S. and their global comeback, which was fueled in no small part by his first book, Beachbum Berry's Grog Log.Then, we stop by Wetlands Sake, Louisiana's first sake brewery. That favorite drink of Japan is now being made right off of Tchoupitoulas Street using Louisiana rice.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at
  • When it comes to sharing our authentic food culture, there is no family as influential over time as the Brennans of New Orleans. Almost 80 years ago, Owen Brennan got the party started at the Old Absinthe House. Since that time, the family has grown and prospered, giving us all a wonderful time along the way.On this week's show, we sit down for the first time with the fourth generation of one of America's premiere food families. We hear from Ralph Brennan's kids Kathryn Brennan McLeod and her brother Patrick, Dickie Brennan's daughter Sarah and his nephew (Lauren Brennan's son) Geordie Brower, and the cousin who is guaranteed to spice things up, president of Baumer Foods, Inc., Pepper Baumer.
  • “Farming,” according to poet Brett Brian, “is a profession of hope.” On this week’s show, we introduce you to sons and daughters of the soil who are living their dreams on the land. We begin in St. Tammany Parish with Monica Bourgeois and Neil Gernon, founders of the small-batch wine company, Vending Machine Wines. The New Orleans couple has been making wine in Napa Valley since 2009, operating the business from their native Louisiana. Their newest venture, WIld Bush Farm & Vineyard finds the two overhauling 13 acres of a former winery in the rural Northshore town of Bush. There, Monica and Neil hope to create a perfect location for winemaking in our state.Then, we visit JD Farms in Poplarville, Mississippi, where Donald Van De Werken and Jeff Brown have been growing the biggest, sweetest, best blueberries in the region. Unsweetened blueberry juice is just one of a myriad of products they've created with their short but delicious annual crop.Finally, we speak with Philip Jones, sixth generation chairman and CEO of Jones Dairy Farm in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. The ingredients that make up their signature breakfast sausage are the same today as they were when his forebearer Milo C. Jones founded the company in 1889. It may surprise you to learn that their products have been a favorite on Louisiana breakfast tables for almost a century.
  • You can’t always get what you want. That’s been especially true during these unpredictable times. Now more than ever, there’s something comforting about the familiar – like a restaurant where you can order exactly what you want off the menu and are greeted with a smile whenever you walk through the door.That’s the experience of anyone who walks into Liz’s Where Y’at Diner – one of the happiest places north of Lake Pontchartrain. From the palm trees to the peace signs to the tie-dyed t-shirts, everything about Liz Munson’s diner is laid back. On this week’s show, we speak with Liz, who tells us about her special kind of hospitality, served up with a killer crab meat grilled cheese sandwich.Then, we learn about a crowd-pleasing muffuletta for sale in San Francisco, prepared each day by Peterson Harter at his pop up Sandy's SF. Though he’s far from home, the New Orleans chef has developed a following by staying true to his culinary roots.And you can’t make it as an entrepreneur unless you’ve got a good sense of what people want. Alfonzo Bolden, who, along with his brother Troy, is co-CEO of Cajun Nation Cajun Seasoning Company, based out of Lafayette. While there's no denying their food talents, Alfonzo and Troy's true genius lies in knowing just when to trademark a name – which for them, often precedes the product concept.Finally, we explore food as medicine and an act of love with Merissa Nathan Gerson, author of, "Forget Prayers, Bring Cake." Merissa shares an honest, unwavering look at her life during her year of grieving, and how she learned to listen to her own needs in a time of suffering.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at
  • Spring is in bloom in the Bayou State, which means festivals, outdoor gatherings and, of course, Easter! If you grew up in the Gulf South, there's a good chance your Easter basket was filled with treats from Elmer Chocolate – our state's very own heritage candy company. On this week’s show, we hop over to Ponchatoula to tour the factory where Elmer’s prized Gold Bricks, Heavenly Hash, and Pecan Eggs are made.Then, we participate in "The Slowest Second Line on Earth" at Brennan's in the French Quarter, where we meet ten terrific turtles and a rapping judge.Finally, we brave the rain for a rollicking cocktail tour, conducted by Richard Read, Elizabeth Pearce, and Allison Alsup – authors of The French Quarter Drinking Companion.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at
  • In today's fast-paced world, where virtually every recipe can be conjured up by doing a quick search online, do cookbooks really matter? After hearing this week's show, we think you'll join us in a resounding yes. Cookbooks teach us techniques and introduce us to new ingredients and cultures. They expand our palates and remind us of old-fashioned ways of doing things – ways that can evoke memories of our long lost loved ones.On this week's show, we meet Mason Hereford of Turkey and the Wolf and Molly's Rise and Shine. This relative newcomer has caused quite a stir here in New Orleans, serving formerly mundane items like a fried bologna sandwich, and transforming them into works of art. That's just one of the reasons Bon Appétit named Turkey and the Wolf America’s best new restaurant in 2017.Mason has become a fixture in national culinary headlines, but his most recent story had nothing to do with his kitchen. He tells us the story of how the first print run of his debut cookbook ended up at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.Then, we hear from fifth-generation chicken keeper, Lisa Steele, whose blog "Fresh Eggs Daily" inspired her new book of the same name. Lisa shares her story as well as some egg-centric tips and tricks.Finally, we speak with David B. Hazelwood, who, along with David G. Smith, authored Cooking Southern: Recipes and Their History. At 586 pages thick, the new tome compiles over 1,800 historic recipes going back generations.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at
  • Mardi Gras 2022 may just be the year of the king cake – at least on Louisiana Eats it is! A few weeks back, we devoted an entire episode to the topic. This week, we're back for seconds!We begin with Patrick Bordnick. Like Pavlov’s dog before them, Patrick's three canine companions have been conditioned to salivate whenever they encounter king cake. Nearly every day from Twelfth Night to Mardi Gras, Patrick and his pups sample a new one and rate it. Patrick then posts their conclusions on his Instagram page, where the whole family enjoys a following.Then, we hear more from Matt Haines, author of "The Big Book of King Cake." We explore the countless varieties of king cakes from across the state, and the bakers behind each innovation.Finally, we meet king cake baker extraordinaire Dominique Rizzo of Celtica Bakery. Like his popular baguettes and croissants, Dominique's authentic French galette des rois is a game changer in New Orleans.For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at