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

Host Poppy Tooker and Serigne Mbaye
Joe Shriner / Louisiana Eats

Behind every great restaurant is a great chef. But that chef would be nothing without the scores of people in the front and the back of the house who turn a meal into a memorable experience. On this week's show, we get to know two unsung heroes of hospitality in New Orleans.

On this week’s show, we're going back to school for no ordinary education. 

 

We begin with Chef Jeremiah Tower, whose book, Table Manners, offers a 21st century guide to being a better host and guest. Jeremiah’s lessons on etiquette — and “techiquette” — come from a decades-long career owning and operating restaurants from California to Hong Kong.

Audra Ang & Poppy Tooker
Reggie Morris / Louisiana Eats

On this week's show, we're embarking on a virtual trip around the world — from Louisiana to China to Israel and beyond!

We begin with a journey through modern China with Audra Ang, who uncovered the country’s soul by researching its food. Audra is a curator at the Museum of Chinese in America, which is located in New York’s Chinatown.

From left to right: Dr. Linda Shiue, Poppy Tooker, Natasha MacAller, and Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark
Joe Shriner / Louisiana Eats

On this week's show, we meet some individuals who are doing their part to make the world a better place through food. 

 

We begin with the remarkable story of JoAnn Clevenger of the Upperline Restaurant. While she is known first and foremost for her beloved restaurant, JoAnn has taken on many different endeavors over the years, all with the unifying purpose of bringing people together.

Host Poppy Tooker with NPR's Kitchen Sisters Davia Nelson, left, and Nikki Silva, right.
Joe Shriner / Louisiana Eats

To tell a truly engaging story, you have to dig deep beneath the surface. When it comes to radio storytelling, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, also known as the Kitchen Sisters, are masters. Through projects like Lost and Found Sound and Hidden World of Girls, the independent producers tell stories for NPR and online "from the flip side of history."

Poppy's welcoming marquee on the Hotel Cazan in Mamou, Louisiana
Reggie Morris / Louisiana Eats

Louisiana Eats is on the road again, this time to Evangeline Parish, where residents show pride for their French, Cajun, and Creole heritage through their food, music, and traditions. On this week's show, we participate in the annual Le Grand Hoorah celebration, while hitting many iconic spots along the Cajun Prairie.

 Civil Rights activists sit in protest at Woolworth’s lunch counter in Durham, North Carolina, February 10, 1960.
Courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina / State Archives of North Carolina

The South has a rich and varied food history, but too often it's reduced to stereotype. On this week's show, we explore the influence of the South on America’s culinary identity, and the central role African-American and immigrant cooks played in its formation. 

The Appalachians range from Northern Alabama to Canada, yet when we speak of the people of Appalachia and their food and culture, we're talking about the South.
Jeff Gunn / Flickr

On this week’s show, we take a sonic journey through Appalachia to explore the history and legacy of its unique foodways.

 

We begin with Troy Ball, whose hobby as a moonshiner became a means of helping her family survive financial ruin. Troy’s memoir, Pure Heart, tells a very personal story of raising two special needs sons while becoming the first legal female moonshiner in Southern history.

Host Poppy Tooker with Jesse Falowitz of Mizu Sochu
Joe Shriner / Louisiana Eats

It's July in New Orleans, which means two things: scorching temperatures and the hottest event in the spirits world -- Tales of the Cocktail! On this week's show, we look at the annual summertime conference that brings the international cocktail scene to the Crescent City.

On this week's show, just in time for the Fourth of July, we're celebrating the good old-fashioned American barbecue and the even older tradition of curing meat for preservation and eating.

We begin with Rien Fertel, author of The One True Barbecue, who demystifies the role of the pit master in the tradition of whole hog barbecue in Tennessee and the Eastern Carolinas. Rien’s exhaustive research led him to some of the smokiest and most storied barbecue shacks in America. But you may want to keep your distance, if those pigs catch on fire, it won't just be the fireworks exploding! 

Pages