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

Flickr/Valentina Powers

On this week’s Louisiana Eats! we speak to Manbo Sallie Ann Glassman about the role food plays in ceremonial vodou, chat with Mary Ann Winkowski about her ability to speak with the departed, and learn about rituals, mojo bags, and herbal remedies from Miriam Chamani.

Plus, Scott Gold throws a Halloween party and Chris Jay visits the Grill of the Dead in Shreveport. 

Terry McCarthy

Michael Weiss has been teaching people about wine long before he started teaching wine studies at the Culinary Institute of America. He can tell you anything you want to know about chardonnay, pinot, or rose and can even help you pair foods with your favorite bottle of merlot.

Luckily, you don’t have to sit through his five-hour course to learn how to appreciate wine. Get out your notepads for Michael’s master class.

Terry McCarthy

Even though they weren't the most ideal crew for picking grapes, the members of the American Harvest Workshop rose to the challenge of hand-harvesting chardonnay  on a cloudy California morning.

Terry McCarthy

For 28 years, 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. The Louisiana Eats! team was invited to participate at this year’s program, so we’ve brought back some of our favorite stories from the West Coast.

Joe Shriner

Allen Katz believes that a shot of history in every glass makes for a better cocktail. Allen is co-founder of the New York Distilling Company located in Brooklyn, where he crafts Perry Tot's Navy Strength Gin and Dorothy Parker American Gin.

Taking a cue from America's pre-Prohibition cocktail heritage, Allen has joined the flourishing community of what he describes as "boutique distilleries" that make pure alcohol in small quantities across the country.

Christine Rigamer

It probably won’t surprise you that people who distill, prepare and sell alcohol are generally cheery. But what is it about their job that puts them in such a good mood? Some get to meet new faces every day, while others study the history of their profession, while even fewer teach the trade to apprentices. Whatever the case, they’re all willing to share their knowledge with others and pursue a comprehensive understanding of their profession.

Marvin Allen has tended bar at The Carousel Bar for twelve years and in that time he’s watched the American cocktail enter the mainstream. Marvin has advice about mixing drinks and shares some stories about the lively characters of the French Quarter.

We’ll also speak with three men about their commitment to distilling quality spirits like boutique hibiscus liquor, extra strength gin, and even a multi-million dollar Bourbon operation. We hope these spirited conversations will leave you informed and thirsty.   

Joe Shriner

Master Distiller Jimmy Russell has been making Wild Turkey Bourbon in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky for 60 years, beginning his unprecedented career in distilling in 1954 at 19 years old. In 2014, he set the record for longest tenured Master Distiller in the industry.

At the age of 80, Jimmy Russell holds the distinction of being the oldest active Master Distiller in North America.

New York Public Library

If you sit down with Joey Fonseca to discuss alligator hunting, he'll let you know that governmental regulations make his blood boil. But you'll also quickly learn that his excitement for alligator hunting is contagious. Joey is one of this week's guests whose work preserves culinary traditions.

Another is Dr. Oliver Houck, an environmental professor at Tulane. His frequent visits to the Mississippi River batture have taught him to love that mysterious place and give him a handful of stories to share. We'll also speak with Jim Heimann and Jarred Zeringue — men who have indirectly documented a time and place by preserving restaurant menus and grandma's recipes, respectably.   

Peder Severin Krøyer

Since most Louisianians are nurtured to embrace an extraverted social life, getting together is second nature to life in the Bayou State. But as often as bombastic parades and revelries help build our communities, spending time over at ya mom’s house is just as important.

On this week’s Louisiana Eats! we’re joined by a group of guests who want nothing more than for you to be comfortable in your own home.

Nancy Vienneau tells us how the monthly gatherings at her house turned her neighbors into friends; David and Lesley Solomonson help build an inexpensive liquor cabinet; and Johnette Downing keeps the kids entertained with upbeat songs about Louisiana cuisine.  

Thomas Walsh

At one point during his cooking career, Donald Link's co-workers nicknamed him "Hot Shot." Was it deserved? That depends on who you ask. Donald shares his side of the story with us in a revealing interview that takes you from the rock and roll kitchens of San Francisco to his award-winning restaurants in New Orleans.

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