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

Miriam Horn's book "Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman."
Image courtesy of Miriam Horn

On this week’s show, we take an in-depth look at the unlikely conservationists who work along the Mississippi River watershed.

We begin with author Miriam Horn, whose book Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman profiles five people who sustain production while preserving their environment. Miriam joins us to talk about her discovery — that there’s much more that unites Americans than divides us.

T-shirts worn by Lost Cat Hot Tamale Company vendors in Greenville, Mississippi
Poppy Tooker / Louisiana Eats

 

On this week’s show, we travel to Greenville, Mississippi for their annual Delta Hot Tamale Festival

 

We begin by speaking with author Julia Reed, who participates as the festival’s official Pizzazz Consultant. Julia’s writing has graced the pages of NewsweekThe Wall Street Journal, Vogue Magazine and Garden and Gun. She shares memories of the very first Hot Tamale Festival and the significance of the hot tamale in the Mississippi Delta.

The Pool Room at the former Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City.
George Geslin / Wikimedia Commons

On this week’s show, we take an in-depth look the evolution of restaurant dining in the America and speak with the co-owner of one the nation's top restaurants.

Pigs graze in forests on Mahaffey Farms in Princeton, Louisiana.
Poppy Tooker

On this week's show, we hit the road to tour a variety of farms that do everything from growing fresh produce to raising colonies of honeybees. We begin with a tour of Mahaffey Farms in Princeton, Louisiana, where Evan McCommon has been converting his family's timber ranch into a biodiverse farm. The changes have been slow, but his resolve steady as the 1,100 acres change from a dense forest to an open savannah.

Poppy Tooker, chefs from the Dickie Brennan Restaurant Group and Dickie Brennan show off their catch of the day.
Paul Broussard

On this week’s show, we’re traveling from Lafitte bayous to French Quarter kitchens for a look at Louisiana’s Catch and Cook Program. Under Catch and Cook, charter fishing groups can bring their catch to a participating restaurant, where the chef will prepare their fresh-caught fish to order.

We begin by angling on the water with Dickie Brennan, Executive Chef Gus Martin, and Captain Theophile Bourgeouis. Theophile, a lifelong Louisiana fisherman, navigates the waters and leads us to a successful catch. Then, we follow our fish to the kitchen of Tableau, where Dickie Brennan’s team of chefs prepare the evening's dinner.

Poppy & Chef John Besh
Reggie Morris / Louisiana Eats!

On this week's show, we look at the role food television plays in the lives of several chefs here in New Orleans. 

We begin with one of the youngest stars of food TV, Kaj Hecht, the recent winner of Chopped Junior. To get an understanding of how the 10-year-old New Orleans local came to be a contestant on the program, we invited Kaj and his father Michael into our studio.

Poppy receiving a "beard award" from Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes.
Reggie Morris / Louisiana Eats

On this week’s show, we’re taking you behind the scenes of the Jazz & Heritage Festival! 

The amazing array of food is one of the many things that sets Jazz Fest apart from all other festivals. We start off by visiting with our own house band, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. They’ve just wrapped up a recording session for their newest album, Sketch. The band shares some of their Jazz Fest gig memories with us, along with the meals they enjoy off the stage.

The Jewish festival of Passover celebrates of the freedom of the Israelites from slavery and exodus from Egypt.
Eczebulun / Wikimedia Commons

Every year, households across Louisiana celebrate the eight-day festival of Passover. On this week's show, we’re bringing in the experts to help us explore Jewish food traditions old and new. 

 

We speak with Joyce Goldstein, author of The New Mediterranean Jewish Table, about sephardic recipes of the Jewish diaspora. In compiling her book, Joyce set out to demystify the diverse traditions of Jewish cooking in the Mediterranean region.

On this week’s show, we’re looking at the role economics plays in running a flourishing food and beverage operation.

 

We begin with hospitality tech entrepreneur Damian Mogavero, who explains the importance of raw data in managing a restaurant. Damian has been able to use his dual passions for dining and data to create a system for “new garde restaurateurs,” a story now chronicled in his book, The Underground Culinary Tour.

 

This week, we’re bringing you a special April Fools edition of Louisiana Eats! One of the stories in this hour is a joke, but the rest are so wild, you may not be able to separate the fact from the fiction!

We begin with zoologist and author Bill Schutt, whose new book focuses on the most taboo of topics: cannibalism. Bill gives us the full story on a truly humanist cuisine.

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