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.

Fine dining restaurants are often where innovations take place in the restaurant industry, but quality food is never limited to those locations. After spending years in white tablecloth restaurants, Jeff and Michael Gulotta started their own place, MoPho, which caters to the palates and pocketbooks of their working class industry friends. 

If you're under 10 years old, the ingredients to an Easter meal are probably self-evident: chocolate bunnies, jelly beans and Peeps. If you're older, the usual suspects may (or may not) be less sweet, but they're likely no less traditional.

Poppy Tooker, host of New Orleans Public Radio's Louisiana Eats, is no stranger to dinner table traditions — even if her favorite was a year-round affair. When Tooker was a child, her great-grandmother was still cooking, and her go-to side dish was something that, at first glance, might sound pretty typical: peas.

    

Getting together with family and friends is something Louisianians do best and in springtime, the weather's just right for barbecues and crawfish boils. This week on Louisiana Eats! we're going around the state to investigate two primary foods that feed the masses this time of year.

Sam Irwin grew up in crawfish country, so his fascination with our state's freshwater crustacean seems natural. Sam's the first of many guests to discuss the crawfish, as well as Chris Jay and Scott Gold, who join the conversation with their own advice about the mudbug.

Then we'll turn to members of the Southern Foodways Alliance for some insights into barbecue. Chef Drew Robinson talks about running a barbecue joint with over 30 locations, and John T. Edge discusses the peace-making capabilities of a great smoked pig.  


Among the many professions that require an ongoing sense of inquiry and creativity is a chef. On this week's Louisiana Eats! we'll hear about the illustrious career of Jacquy Pfeiffer,a pastry chef who's helped found The French Pastry School in Chicago and has also been the subject of a documentary by D.A. Pennebaker.

Then we're joined by the Nola Pie Guy, a graduate of The French Pastry School, to hear how his education prepared him for a life in pastry.

And finally we'll hear how Syrena Johnson keeps her ambitions in fine-dining afloat by mentoring with A-list chefs around New Orleans. 

We're getting ready for da Mardi Gras! This week on Louisiana Eats! we'll hear about New Orleans' Mardi Gras traditions from Errol Laborde, and speak with experts from Lafayette about their food customs and celebrations. Plus, we visit Cake Café for a peek at how they make their famous King Cake. 

Staying healthy is a challenge for us all, particularly in Louisiana, where food-obsession is a way of life. But being food-obsessed doesn't mean you have to have a penchant for heavy cream and butter. This week on Louisiana Eats! we'll speak from the owners of a new wellness boutique in New Orleans to hear about the foods and philosophies that guide their approach to living well. 

Good Eggs New Orleans is connecting farmers, value-added products, and consumers together in a single system. On this week's Louisiana Eats! we'll speak with leaders of the organization's local branch to hear how their work helps reduce farm waste and keeps money circulating locally.

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