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

Poppy Tooker

It's Carnival time in Louisiana! We'll take you into the secret realm of some of New Orleans' oldest Mardi Gras krewes by visiting Antoine's and Tujague's Restaurants. Antoine's fifth-generation proprietor Rick Blount gives us a tour of the Rex Room, the Proteus Room, the Twelfth Night Room, and the Hermes Bar. Then, Mark Latter of Tujague's shows us the infamous Krewe d'Etat Room, a place of rollicking misbehavior.

In sharp contrast to elaborate parades and krewes of New Orleans, Mardi Gras in Cajun Country is altogether different. From Lafayette, Toby Rodriguez and Lucius Fontenot talk to us about the prairie Mardi Gras traditions that make Acadiana unique.

Also, Robin Young, host of NPR's Here & Now, turns the tables on Poppy with an interview about Mardi Gras food. There's more to it than just King Cake!

Allons au Mardi Gras!

King Cakes, fancy balls and brandymilk punch are some of the staples of Mardi Gras season in New Orleans. Poppy Tooker, a native New Orleanian and host of the public radio program Louisiana Eats!, explains the traditions to Here & Now’s Robin Young. She also shares this recipe for Milk Punch:

Milk Punch

Serves 6.


1 cup (8 oz.) brandy or bourbon

1/2 cup cream

2 cups whole milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Christina Walsh

In Louisiana, home cooking requires a lot of artisanal skill. Whether it’s spending hours in the kitchen laboring over a pastry or hours alongside a black pot perfecting a roux, the Pelican State’s best foods are often labors of love. That’s what we’ll discover as we tour the state for our latest edition of Louisiana Eats!

In Shreveport we’ll meet with Scott Roebuck and Lizz Bowen, owners of Sevendipity, an up and coming restaurant in the Highlands neighborhood. We’ll learn how Scott’s self-taught cooking technique led him to create Louisana’s answer to the cronut.

We’ll also meet dozens of talented chefs at the Blackpot Festival & Cookoff held annually in Lafayette’s Acadian Village. This gathering of south Louisiana musicians and cooks draws in more and more attendees each year with its come-one, come-all hospitality and generosity of spirit. We’ll hear how community outweighed all the competition at this year’s cook off. And stir your appetite for roux, rice, and gumbo with author Stanley Dry. From North to South, we’ve got a real taste of the state.

Terry McCarthy

Water conservation and ecology are at the utmost concern to beverage makers like Great Raft Brewery and Cakebread Cellars. Andrew Nations has gone to great lengths to figure out ways to change the taste profile of Shreveport's water, and Bruce Cakebread has helped organize a group of winemakers to ensure that their family businesses will survive the ongoing drought in California. We'll join each of them on site as they focus their attention towards these environmental issues.

And once you hear Molly Kimball's advice about the benefits of a daily glass of wine, you'll be glad these beverage makers are so disciplined. New research suggests that a little alcohol is great for a healthy heart: a perfect pairing, if you will. Should that not be enough for a perfect pairing, then turn to Scott Gold for his take on what makes a bowl of chili great, a great companion on a cold winter night. 

Plus food writer Jason Wilson joins the show and Poppy shares her recipe for Coq Au Vin.

Thomas Walsh

For the past twenty years Dana Cowin has been Food & Wine's editor in chief, but has keep a secret from her readers. Despite being surrounded by food nearly every single day, she never learned how to cook. But with the help of her friends, many of them famous celebrity chefs, Dana has mastered her mistakes in the kitchen and learned some invaluable life skills along the way. 

We're also joined by Tony Abu-Ganim, one of the world's leading mixologists. He's seen the profession go from being a secondary job to a respected career during his 30 years behind the bar and joins us to talk about the hardships he's encountered along that journey.

And for a set of bakers with roughly five years of experience on their hands, the crew at Bellegarde Bakery is making quite a name for themselves. We'll join Graison Gill and Brett Guadagnino at their Broadmoor bakery for an early morning baking session.  

Plus Ian McNulty and Chris Jay both join us for reports from the road

National Cancer Institute

There were so many different food stories that emerged this past year that we had a hard time narrowing them down to a single hour of programming. Whether it was the Gulotta brothers opening up their own restaurant in Mid-City or a national grocery store returning to the city, there seemed to be new food stories popping up everywhere. It wasn't just local either: one of our favorite chefs traveled to Russia and The New York Times stuck its foot in its mouth

Sadly, we also lost some very good friends of ours. Michael Mizell-Nelson and Rudy Lombard both championed Louisiana's foodways and worked hard to preserve many of our customs and traditions. We'll revisit them one as time before we turn the page to another calendar year.

US Navy

  Scholar Michael Twitty says that during the holidays, "everybody's stuff is all mixed up." He speaks from experience: Michael's connected to Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa celebrations that keep him busy this time of year. He's one of the many guests who'll sit at our table to discuss how their holiday traditions are kept alive and why food is often at the center of those traditions. 

Brian Streeter

At one point in their lives, each of our guests had to choose whether or not they would inherit a family business. The answer didn't always come quickly, and most of them had to change the business to make it their own, but each decided to carry their family's tradition to the next generation.

flickr/Seattle Municial Archives

With so much to do during the holidays and so little time to do it, they often don't feel like "the most wonderful time of the year." But if you pocket a word of wisdom from our guests, perhaps you'll be able to go about the next couple weeks breathing easier. 

Marjory Collins

The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church is the oldest Orthodox Church in America. For 150 years the members of the church have passed down their traditions bit by bit, day by day. But now that our culture has changed and fewer people have extra time on their hands, the culture could be in jeopardy of being lost. This week on Louisiana Eats! we'll speak with the women of the church as they prepare finikia to hear their thoughts about community, family and heritage.