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.

On this week’s Louisiana Eats!, we’re remembering the devastation of the BP oil spill, which took place five years ago this week. Six weeks after the spill, we produced our very first episode of Louisiana Eats!, and there was no way we could ignore the disaster that was unfolding in the Gulf.

Big news on this week’s Louisiana Eats! We move into our new studios, located in the Southern Food and Beverage Museum on Oretha Castle Haley in Central City.

Growing Up Brennan

Mar 28, 2015

When Owen Brennan opened the Vieux Carré restaurant in 1946, he created a Louisiana dynasty that today numbers more than a dozen establishments run by multiple members of the Brennan’s clan. On this week’s show, we explore what it’s like to grow up Brennan.

Lally Brennan and Ti Martin share childhood memories and discuss what it’s like to be at the helm of Commander’s Palace today.

What’s sweeter than honey? Sugar! Or is it the other way around? On this week's Louisiana Eats!, we try to answer that question as we examine the sweetest things from Louisiana, California and across the world.

This week, we are headed straight to the living room. But we don’t mean the living room in your house; we’re talking about the nearest Irish Pub! In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Louisiana Eats! is exploring all things Irish.

Tulane History Professor and author of the new book “The Irish in New Orleans,” Laura Kelley gives us a history of Irish immigrants in the Crescent City and how they influenced Louisiana culture in some unexpected ways.

It's a common fact of life that there is more to people and things than meets the eye.

For example, many people know New Orleans artist Thomas Mann for his jewelry and metal sculptures, but may have been unfamiliar with his interest with food. An accomplished cook and self-styled ovo-lacto-piscean vegetarian, Thomas will get to show off his chops on Food Network's new competitive cooking show "All-Star Academy," which premieres Sunday, March 1 at 8 p.m. He gives us the scoop on his network debut and what audiences can expect to tune in to.

Louisiana Eats! roving reporter Jyl Benson is more than just a longtime contributor to our show. She's also a prolific food writer and, most recently, author of a new cookbook: "Fun, Funky and Fabulous: New Orleans' Casual Restaurant Recipes." Along with collaborator Sam Hanna, Jyl discusses how the book came together, both offering an in depth look at their approach to food photography.

Also, Chris Boucher, industrial hemp advocate, explains the benefits of Cannabis sativa, the plant often demonized as "The Devil's Weed." While hemp and marijuana are both derivatives of Cannabis sativa, hemp contains no THC, the active chemical that gets marijuana users high. Chris explains why attitudes toward hemp turned sour by the 1930s and why he believes, with new research and growing interest in the product, hemp cultivation will soon become a giant industry in the U.S.

We're taking a long look on both sides of the fence on this week's Louisiana Eats!

Vietnamese New Year was officially Thursday, but the festivities in New Orleans East have just started. The largest of these events is a three-day Tet festival hosted by Mary Queen of Vietnam Church (14001 Dwyer Blvd.) beginning Friday, February 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Drawing in thousands of locals and visitors from across the region, the neighborhood festival features live music, dancing, fireworks and, of course, exceptional Vietnamese cuisine. Food writer Ian McNulty gives Poppy the scoop on what dishes to sample this weekend and why you should arrive with an empty stomach.

It's Carnival time in Louisiana! We'll take you into the secret realm of some of New Orleans' oldest Mardi Gras krewes by visiting Antoine's and Tujague's Restaurants. Antoine's fifth-generation proprietor Rick Blount gives us a tour of the Rex Room, the Proteus Room, the Twelfth Night Room, and the Hermes Bar. Then, Mark Latter of Tujague's shows us the infamous Krewe d'Etat Room, a place of rollicking misbehavior.

In sharp contrast to elaborate parades and krewes of New Orleans, Mardi Gras in Cajun Country is altogether different. From Lafayette, Toby Rodriguez and Lucius Fontenot talk to us about the prairie Mardi Gras traditions that make Acadiana unique.

Also, Robin Young, host of NPR's Here & Now, turns the tables on Poppy with an interview about Mardi Gras food. There's more to it than just King Cake!

Allons au Mardi Gras!

For the past twenty years Dana Cowin has been Food & Wine's editor in chief, but has keep a secret from her readers. Despite being surrounded by food nearly every single day, she never learned how to cook. But with the help of her friends, many of them famous celebrity chefs, Dana has mastered her mistakes in the kitchen and learned some invaluable life skills along the way. 

We're also joined by Tony Abu-Ganim, one of the world's leading mixologists. He's seen the profession go from being a secondary job to a respected career during his 30 years behind the bar and joins us to talk about the hardships he's encountered along that journey.

And for a set of bakers with roughly five years of experience on their hands, the crew at Bellegarde Bakery is making quite a name for themselves. We'll join Graison Gill and Brett Guadagnino at their Broadmoor bakery for an early morning baking session.  

Plus Ian McNulty and Chris Jay both join us for reports from the road

There were so many different food stories that emerged this past year that we had a hard time narrowing them down to a single hour of programming. Whether it was the Gulotta brothers opening up their own restaurant in Mid-City or a national grocery store returning to the city, there seemed to be new food stories popping up everywhere. It wasn't just local either: one of our favorite chefs traveled to Russia and The New York Times stuck its foot in its mouth

Sadly, we also lost some very good friends of ours. Michael Mizell-Nelson and Rudy Lombard both championed Louisiana's foodways and worked hard to preserve many of our customs and traditions. We'll revisit them one as time before we turn the page to another calendar year.

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