Louisiana Eats!

Saturdays at 1pm
  • Hosted by Poppy Tooker

Louisiana Eats! is a radio show for people who cook and people who love to eat well—all with a Louisiana point of view and Poppy’s distinctive Louisiana voice.

In each program listeners join Poppy as she meets people who produce, cook, and eat the foods we enjoy and treasure—exploring kitchens and stores, farms and waterways where favorite foods are produced and prepared. And because Louisianans love all kinds of food, Poppy won’t limit herself to shrimp creole and hot sauce!

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. 

The morning of Mardi Gras calls for something a little hardier — and a little more indulgent — than your average bowl of Wheaties. After all, a long day lies ahead, thick with flying beads, outlandish parade floats and food in every form and function. When partying in New Orleans starts as early as dawn, a good breakfast is crucial.

And don't forget, Poppy Tooker adds: "This is the one city in America where breakfast drinking is totally socially acceptable." Why let such a splendid opportunity go to waste?

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. 

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