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.

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Louisiana Eats!
5:00 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Porters, Guezes And IPAs: Three Distinctive Beers At The Avenue Pub

Although Polly Watts has only focused on the American craft beer scene for a handful of years, you can find some the rarest beers in the world at her bar, the Avenue Pub.
Credit Thomas Walsh

There's no shortage of bars in New Orleans, but if you're looking to get a specialty craft beer the The Avenue Pub should be among the first places you go.

Years ago, Polly Watts inherited the business from her father and turned it around from it's original Miller-Coors-Budweiser base. Now it's one of the South's leading craft beer bars and a  favorite spot for beer enthusiasts. Pull up a stool to have a drink with Polly on this week's Louisiana Eats!

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Louisiana Eats!
3:00 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Stay Indoors Or Get Out Of Town: Ways To Beat The Heat

Earlier this summer, chef Ryan Hughes spent 16 days teaching Russians how to cook Southern food.
Ragulin Vitality

When it's unbearably hot in Louisiana, there's not much you can do to beat the heat. Take a tip from the guests on this week's Louisiana Eats!: cool down with a brew or leave town for a couple of weeks.

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Louisiana Eats!
5:00 am
Sat August 2, 2014

Tradition Begs For Evolution: Changing Federal Policy & Reviving Local Customs

Toby Rodriguez has helped revive Cajun traditions with his group, Lache Pas Boucherie et Cuisine.
Thomas Walsh

Click here to listen to this week's show.

Michel Nischan, Toby Rodriguez and Brian Kyzar are all men with grand ambitions. Even though they work in different parts of the country, they each plan to bring about changes within their niche of the food industry. 

Michel's been in the game for over 35 years. Among the many jobs he's had, Michel's done farm work, cooked in a kitchen, and opened a restaurant with Paul Newman. Now he's focused on changing food policy on the federal level. We hope you'll be as inspired by Michel as we have.

Then we'll speak with Toby Rodriguez and Brian Kyzar as they prepare for a pop-up dinner on Frenchmen Street. They're joining us to talk about reviving the Cajun traditions that were on the verge of extinction as little as five years ago.  

Plus, Dr. Gourmet returns and Poppy shares a recipe for fried shrimp heads: don't let them go to waste!

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Louisiana Eats!
12:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Farm To Table International Symposium Hosts Food Policy Advocate Michel Nischan

As the keynote speaker at this year's Farm to Table Symposium, Michel Nischan will address the conference at 9 o'clock on Saturday morning.
Credit Farm to Table Symposium

Michel Nischan grew up spending time on his grandfather’s farm, so the thought of eating fresh food was second nature to him.

As he got older, he worked in kitchens and found out most of his customers weren’t too keen on the idea. He had to lie to them about where he was getting their food. 

But as people's attitudes toward food changed, Michel's ideas gained in popularity. He's often cited as on the most influential food policy makers in the past decade.

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Louisiana Eats!
9:50 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Make Mine A Double: The American Cocktail

The Absinthe Frappe is just one of the many drinks that was unavailable when production of its base spirit was banned around the world.
Credit Bart Everson / Flickr

Despite Louisiana’s scorching temperatures in July, thousands of visitors beat a path to New Orleans in search of a cold cocktail at the annual Tales of the Cocktail event. On this week’s show we’ll hear from the founder of the conference, get a dose of history from the King of Cocktails, and hear how a smear campaign kept absinthe out of our liquor cabinets for 100 years. Break out the ice, the bar’s open on this week’s Louisiana Eats!

Click here to listen to this week's show.

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Louisiana Eats!
3:30 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

A Salute To The James Beard Awards

Chef Ryan Prewitt won Best Chef of the South at The James Beard Awards this past spring. His restaurant, Peche Seafood Restaurant, won best New Restaurant in America.
Credit Thomas Walsh

Every year The James Beard Awards are bestowed on the most talented individuals in the professional food industry.

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Louisiana Eats!
6:02 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Cultural Tourism At Its Finest: Food Studies In New Orleans

Professor Meryl Rosofsky, left, connects her students with authentic Louisiana experiences so that their visit here isn't isolated to the French Quarter and other tourist traps.
Credit Jimmy Delery

Click here to listen to this week's show.

Using food as a way to understand the world is something your parents probably never studied in college, but it’s has become a popular discipline in the past decade. Each year, professor Meryl Rosofsky brings students from NYU’s food studies program to New Orleans for a week-long cultural immersion. We join them at Dooky Chase to hear if their preconceptions of New Orleans are being shed.

We’ll also visit the Steamboat Warehouse in St. Landry Parish, take a cooking class with Kyan Douglas, and make leftovers with Scott Gold and his enormous jar of kimchi. 

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Louisiana Eats!
1:15 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

Summertime Fun: Hot Dogs, Picnics And Kids

The growing popularity of Louisiana's gourmet sausage vendors has helped catapult the local hot dog scene into the national dialogue.
Credit Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Click here to listen to this week's show.

As temperatures rise around Louisiana it's become perfectly clear that summer is here. So this week on Louisiana Eats! we're talking about traditional summertime foods, giving you advice for picnics, and hearing how to keep your kids entertained during the hottest part of the year.

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Louisiana Eats!
10:00 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Turning It Around With Food: Triumph Kitchen In Baton Rouge

In order to help fiance Triumph Kitchen, directors Chris and Sommer Wadsworth have sold local businesses wall space and commissioned young artists to paint them.
Credit Thomas Walsh

Click here to listen to this week's show.

In Baton Rouge, teenagers looking to turn their lives around are getting involved with Triumph Kitchen.  Directors Chris and Sommer Wadsworth join us to share Triumph’s story and then we’ll turn to New Orleans to hear how Liberty’s Kitchen, a local non-profit, is doing similar work.

Then we’ll be joined by Louisiana Eats! regulars Dr. Gourmet and Ryan Hughes to hear what they’ve got in store for the summer. Ryan’s traveling to Russia to feed a festival of people and Dr. Gourmet’s ready to share his tips about combating heart disease. Plus, Cory Bahr gives us the scoop about his fine-dining restaurant in Monroe.

And don’t forget to send in your personal stories about finding love at Tales of the Cocktail.

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Louisiana Eats!
5:00 am
Sat May 31, 2014

A Taste Of Home: Finding Cultural Identity At The Table

A nine year old Polish boy shucks oysters in 1911. Of all the things newcomers bring with them to American soil, food offers a direct connection to their homelands.
Credit National Archives and Records Adminstrators\Lewis Hine

Whether they’re short trips across town or long voyages across the oceans, we all take journeys. On this week’s Louisiana Eats! we’ll speak with writers and restaurateurs about their personal quests for cultural identity.

Kim Sunee’s appetites include travel, knowledge and food. Her trip to Korea is one of the main topics she writes about in A Mouthful of Stars, which explores another dimension of Kim’s creativity: her poetry.

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