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 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.

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.
Terry McCarthy

Since 1986, 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. Recently, the Louisiana Eats! team was invited to participate, so we've brought back some of our favorite stories from the West Coast.

Count Bernard Saint Bris and host Poppy Tooker in the gardens of his family's château, Clos Lucé.
Courtesy of Poppy Tooker

Recently, Louisiana Eats! host Poppy Tooker packed up her recording equipment, bid a cheery adieu to her company of sound engineers and went rogue to make Louisiana Eats! radio in France. On this week's episode, we share Poppy's incredible experience abroad.

Marie Saint Bris sets the table for "le dîner bleu" in the dining room of her family's Château Beauchêne in France's Loire River Valley.
Poppy Tooker

Knowing the human history behind any dish just makes it taste better. On this week's episode of Louisiana Eats!, we hit the books with several food historians to hear tales of our culinary past.

First, we speak with Dr. David Shields of the University of South Carolina, who shares his years of research on American culinarians. His upcoming book, "Culinarians: American Chefs, Caterers & Restaurateurs," is the first ever biographical collection of culinary movers and shakers in America.

Joe Shriner

The food scene of New Orleans has grown tremendously since Hurricane Katrina. On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we complete our two-part series on the storm by taking a look at the changing face of the city's food scene over the past 10 years.

Ian McNulty

As the 10th anniversary of the storm approaches, the echoes of Hurricane Katrina and resulting levee failures continue to affect individuals and businesses within the food industry. On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we begin our two-part series on the storm with stories about the aftermath of Katrina on local bars, restaurants and facilities; and learn how the community has come back in a big way.

Angie Garrett / Flickr

On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we set out to discover hot spots both literally and figuratively in our backyard.

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