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
Fri November 7, 2014

Imitators Vs. Innovators: Imported Asian Seafood & Modern Mexican Cuisine

John Besh and Aaron Sanchez's became close friends on the set of Iron Chef and at subsequent charity cooking events.
Poppy Tooker

The interior of Aaron Sanchez and John Besh’s new restaurant is split into two designs: one that looks like the iconic architecture of New Orleans, and the other is an homage to Sanchez’s vibrant tattooed body. Even though both of these chefs have found success independently, their new collaboration at Johnny Sanchez is having each chef second guess what they took for granted. 

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Louisiana Eats!
5:00 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Halloween Treats That Are Beyond Delicious

Credit Flickr/Valentina Powers

On this week’s Louisiana Eats! we speak to Manbo Sallie Ann Glassman about the role food plays in ceremonial vodou, chat with Mary Ann Winkowski about her ability to speak with the departed, and learn about rituals, mojo bags, and herbal remedies from Miriam Chamani.

Plus, Scott Gold throws a Halloween party and Chris Jay visits the Grill of the Dead in Shreveport. 

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Louisiana Eats!
5:00 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Wine 101: Attend A Sommelier's 5-Hour Seminar In Just Minutes

Michael Weiss is the former sommelier at Arnaud's Restaurant and has been the official wine educator at the American Harvest Workshop for years.
Credit Terry McCarthy

Michael Weiss has been teaching people about wine long before he started teaching wine studies at the Culinary Institute of America. He can tell you anything you want to know about chardonnay, pinot, or rose and can even help you pair foods with your favorite bottle of merlot.

Luckily, you don’t have to sit through his five-hour course to learn how to appreciate wine. Get out your notepads for Michael’s master class.

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Louisiana Eats!
5:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Grab A Knife And Pick Them Yourself: Hand Harvesting Grapes In Napa Valley

The harvest: 2,000 pounds of chardonnay reserve picked in half an hour. The professionals can pick just as many grapes in a quarter as much time.
Credit Terry McCarthy

Even though they weren't the most ideal crew for picking grapes, the members of the American Harvest Workshop rose to the challenge of hand-harvesting chardonnay  on a cloudy California morning.

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Louisiana Eats!
5:00 am
Fri October 17, 2014

California Field Trip: Lessons From The American Harvest Workshop

Chef Josh Thomsen dumps chardonnay grapes into a bin. On a good day a team of eight men can hand harvest a ton of grapes in half an hour.
Terry McCarthy

For 28 years, Cakebread Cellars in Napa Valley has gathered together a small group of chefs, journalists and food enthusiasts for an intensive four day seminar at the American Harvest Workshop. The Louisiana Eats! team was invited to participate at this year’s program, so we’ve brought back some of our favorite stories from the West Coast.

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Louisiana Eats!
5:00 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Combining History With Gin: A Glimpse Into The Craft Distilling Industry

Poppy Tooker with New York Distilling Company co-founder Allen Katz.
Credit Joe Shriner

Allen Katz believes that a shot of history in every glass makes for a better cocktail. Allen is co-founder of the New York Distilling Company located in Brooklyn, where he crafts Perry Tot's Navy Strength Gin and Dorothy Parker American Gin.

Taking a cue from America's pre-Prohibition cocktail heritage, Allen has joined the flourishing community of what he describes as "boutique distilleries" that make pure alcohol in small quantities across the country.

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Louisiana Eats!
5:00 am
Fri October 10, 2014

American Distillers On A Quest For Quality

The Carousel Bar & Lounge was first installed in 1949 and has undergone renovations on several occasions, the latest in 2009.
Credit Christine Rigamer

It probably won’t surprise you that people who distill, prepare and sell alcohol are generally cheery. But what is it about their job that puts them in such a good mood? Some get to meet new faces every day, while others study the history of their profession, while even fewer teach the trade to apprentices. Whatever the case, they’re all willing to share their knowledge with others and pursue a comprehensive understanding of their profession.

Marvin Allen has tended bar at The Carousel Bar for twelve years and in that time he’s watched the American cocktail enter the mainstream. Marvin has advice about mixing drinks and shares some stories about the lively characters of the French Quarter.

We’ll also speak with three men about their commitment to distilling quality spirits like boutique hibiscus liquor, extra strength gin, and even a multi-million dollar Bourbon operation. We hope these spirited conversations will leave you informed and thirsty.   

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Louisiana Eats!
4:48 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Jimmy Russell, Master Distiller Of Wild Turkey Bourbon, Celebrates 60 Years Of Service

Poppy Tooker and Jimmy Russell at this year's Tales of the Cocktail.
Credit Joe Shriner

Master Distiller Jimmy Russell has been making Wild Turkey Bourbon in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky for 60 years, beginning his unprecedented career in distilling in 1954 at 19 years old. In 2014, he set the record for longest tenured Master Distiller in the industry.

At the age of 80, Jimmy Russell holds the distinction of being the oldest active Master Distiller in North America.

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Louisiana Eats!
5:00 am
Sat September 27, 2014

Curious Romantics & Passionate Investigators: Louisiana Culinary Preservationists

Hunting alligator used to be an unregulated enterprise, but then it was outlawed in Louisiana. Years passed and the government decided to overturn their decision, but has kept hunting isolated to September.
Credit New York Public Library

If you sit down with Joey Fonseca to discuss alligator hunting, he'll let you know that governmental regulations make his blood boil. But you'll also quickly learn that his excitement for alligator hunting is contagious. Joey is one of this week's guests whose work preserves culinary traditions.

Another is Dr. Oliver Houck, an environmental professor at Tulane. His frequent visits to the Mississippi River batture have taught him to love that mysterious place and give him a handful of stories to share. We'll also speak with Jim Heimann and Jarred Zeringue — men who have indirectly documented a time and place by preserving restaurant menus and grandma's recipes, respectably.   

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Louisiana Eats!
5:00 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Community Potlucks — Same Old Values, Brand New Flavors

Credit Peder Severin Krøyer

Since most Louisianians are nurtured to embrace an extraverted social life, getting together is second nature to life in the Bayou State. But as often as bombastic parades and revelries help build our communities, spending time over at ya mom’s house is just as important.

On this week’s Louisiana Eats! we’re joined by a group of guests who want nothing more than for you to be comfortable in your own home.

Nancy Vienneau tells us how the monthly gatherings at her house turned her neighbors into friends; David and Lesley Solomonson help build an inexpensive liquor cabinet; and Johnette Downing keeps the kids entertained with upbeat songs about Louisiana cuisine.  

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