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.

Ways to Connect

Lunch is prepared at El Paraiso, an organic farm and family-run restaurant in Viñales, Cuba.
Poppy Tooker

As the diplomatic thaw between the United States and Cuba continues, new opportunities for Americans to visit Cuba are opening all kinds of doors. In an incredible stroke of luck, Louisiana Eats! host Poppy Tooker had the opportunity to join the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on their landmark visit to Cuba for the Havana Jazz Festival. On this week's show, Poppy shares an audio travelogue from her week-long trip in the Rome of the Caribbean.

The Southern Food And Beverage Museum sits at the intersection of Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The Southern Food And Beverage Museum / Facebook

It's hard to believe that it has been a whole year since we moved our Louisiana Eats! studio into the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. On this week's show, we celebrate this one-year anniversary by meeting our neighbors in the Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard corridor in Central City.

Cookie Coleman, Poppy Tooker and Chef Hardette Harris in Shreveport
Chris Jay

From community gardens in North Louisiana to village farms in Sub-Saharan Africa, local leaders are cultivating a passion for regional cuisine and sustainable agriculture. On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we learn about the push for community-driven food policy and meet some advocates who are inspiring people to think differently about how they eat.

Poppy Tooker and Leah Chase in the kitchen of Dooky Chase's Restaurant
Joe Shriner

What turns an ordinary woman into a legend? On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we attempt to answer that question by taking an in-depth look at four inspiring women who have conquered life's challenges and become legends in their own time.

Line up for the French Quarter Irish Parade
Infrogmation of New Orleans / Flickr

Whether it means indulging in a Full Irish breakfast, marching in the Irish Channel Parade, or simply enjoying a pint of Guinness at the local Irish pub, it's time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we explore Irish history and heritage in the Pelican State, hear stories from 21st century Irish immigrants, and take a tour of local pubs to hear how they observe the Feast of Saint Patrick.

"Absinthe Robette" lithograph by Henri Privat-Livemont from 1896, at the peak of absinthe's popularity.
Library of Congress

From the height of its popularity in the 19th century to its modern revival, absinthe has a long and storied reputation. On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we learn all about the formerly illicit elixir, and those whose ongoing fascination with the spirit has helped transform the discourse and regulations here in the United States.

Pastry chef Erin Swanson of Restaurant R'evolution.
Poppy Tooker

There's romance in the air on Louisiana Eats!

In celebration of Valentine's Day, we take a trip to the very top of Louisiana, to Holly and Derek Schreiber's Sainte Terre, which hosts some of Louisiana's most romantic weddings. Situated in the small town of Benton, Sainte Terre combines Holly and Derek's culinary prowess and New York style with the devotion of a truly family-run business.

Lally Brennan and Poppy Tooker holding up a 2016 Pete Fountain Bobblehead at Commander's Palace.
Joe Shriner

It's Carnival time on Louisiana Eats! On this week's show, we learn about Carnival traditions both public and private, and celebrations both large and small. We begin with a lively discussion about New Orleans' Mardi Gras traditions with Errol Laborde, author of Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival.

Then, we make our way over to Commander's Palace, where Lally Brennan explains the part her family's restaurant plays in fueling Pete Fountain's Half Fast Walking Club on Mardi Gras morning.

Amanda Toups, Isaac Toups & Poppy Tooker at Toups' Meatery.
Joe Shriner

On the cusp of Carnival, the traditional meat celebration before the Lenten fasting begins, we're hosting our very own meat celebration on Louisiana Eats!

Chef Nick Lama, native New Orleanian and third-generation Sicilian, at his restaurant Avo. The Italian word "Avo" translates as "grandfather" or "ancestor".
Courtesy of Avo

On this week's Louisiana Eats, we examine family food traditions from North Louisiana to the most southern tip of the boot!

First, Chef Nick Lama invites us into the kitchen at Avo, an intimate fine-dining restaurant near Audubon Park in Uptown New Orleans. A third-generation Sicilian and native New Orleanian, Nick most recently worked as Chef de Cuisine at Gautreau's, where he won Gambit's Emerging Chef Challenge. Nick gives us a Northern Italian pasta and truffle lesson and shares some insider pasta tips.