Poppy Tooker

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.

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."

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.


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.


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! 

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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