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

Zdenek Kastanek (center) with fellow 28 Hong Kong Street employees after being awarded "Best International Bar Team" at the 2015 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards.
Tales of the Cocktail / Facebook

On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we examine the lives of five different individuals who have taken long, adventurous journeys, both personally and physically, to reach maturity and a clear sense of purpose.

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, began the evening of December 6 and ends the evening of December 14.
Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

On this week's show, we celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights, a time when families gather to light the menorah, exchange gifts and feast on traditional foods.

First, we share stories with Rabbi Ed Cohn of Temple Sinai, the spiritual leader of the largest synagogue in Louisiana. Rabbi Cohn tell us about his tenure at Temple Sinai and his favorite Hanukkah food memories.

Chris Jay, bartender Aulden Morgan and Poppy Tooker sample the Carolina Reaper-infused vodka at Zocolo Neighborhood Eatery in Shreveport.
Joe Shriner

It's the holiday season in Louisiana—a time to eat, drink and be merry!

On this week's Louisiana Eats! we're getting ready for the season by planning the ultimate holiday cocktail party. Master mixologist Adam Seger tells us about his craft of pairing cocktails with art and culinary innovations. We also get a chance to taste his newest creation Balsam Amaro — a versatile vermouth unlike any you've ever had.

We've got a veritable cornucopia of Thanksgiving stories to share on this week's Louisiana Eats!
vxla / Flickr

This week on Louisiana Eats!, we gather around the table to delve into Thanksgiving traditions old and new. We hear about an unlikely culinary partnership between cookbook author Brandon Schultz and his cat, Lucy Schultz-Osenlund, who collaborated on a cookbook called Cooking for Two: Your Cat & You, a collection of recipes that will appeal to both man and man's best feline friend. Brandon tells us how he and Lucy celebrate something we're calling Catsgiving.

Two marine biologists working triangular cages used in raising the baby oysters, known as spat.
Poppy Tooker

On this week's Louisiana Eats! we venture down to Grand Isle to explore the current state of Louisiana's shellfish industry.

From haunted restaurants to spine-chilling cemeteries, we explore the spooky side of Louisiana on this week's show.
Sally Asher

It's that time of year, when the cemeteries of Louisiana come alive and the streets are haunted by tethered spirits.

On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we celebrate All Hallows' Eve by time traveling through the storied tombs of St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 with photographer and historian Sally Asher. Sally takes us through the grave sites of our dearly departed culinary legends, and we hear some spooky stories along the way.

Poppy Tooker and Chef John Besh
Shaun Johnson

On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we join Chef John Besh in the Rouse’s Culinary Innovation Center, located at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, for a lesson in cooking up some oyster stew. We also talk about John's newly released book, Besh Big Easy, which focuses on traditional dishes that he believes are disappearing from Louisiana dinner tables.

Thibodaux-born Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois and hospitality guru Danny Meyer at the 2015 Big Apple Barbecue Block Party.
Nicole Savitsky

There are few businesses harder to succeed in than the restaurant business. On this week's show, we hear some of America's greatest success stories from the hospitality world.

"Man, in New Orleans we really are fortunate — we got some of the best things in the world," Chef Paul Prudhomme once said. "And one of those things is the muffuletta sandwich."

And one of the best things about New Orleans was Prudhomme himself.

He was known for introducing blackened redfish to the rest of us, for his cooking demos and for his line of magic spices. Needless to say, Prudhomme changed the way the world saw Louisiana cooking.

He has died at the age of 75.

Across Louisiana and the entire country, there is a substance abuse problem in bars and restaurants.
Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

Since we began broadcasting Louisiana Eats! over five years ago, we've noticed a recurring theme when speaking with chefs, bartenders and restaurant owners about a certain aspect of the hospitality and service industry culture. From the front of the house to the back, across Louisiana and the entire country, there is a substance abuse problem in bars and restaurants.

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