Louisiana Eats!

Saturdays at 1 p.m.
  • 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!

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.

With so much to do during the holidays and so little time to do it, they often don't feel like "the most wonderful time of the year." But if you pocket a word of wisdom from our guests, perhaps you'll be able to go about the next couple weeks breathing easier. 

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. 

The interior of Aaron Sanchez and John Besh’s new restaurant is split into two designs: one that looks like the iconic architecture of New Orleans, and the other is an homage to Sanchez’s vibrant tattooed body. Even though both of these chefs have found success independently, their new collaboration at Johnny Sanchez is having each chef second guess what they took for granted. 

In addition to countless children trick-or-treating, revelers of all ages will be hosting and attending parties this week to celebrate Halloween, a holiday that gives everyone an opportunity to get creative with costumes and cuisine.

Years ago, Scott Gold was asked to be a guest chef for a Halloween themed dinner party. Taken from this week's edition of Louisiana Eats!, Scott explains what dishes he prepared for his hair-raising meal and rhapsodizes about the joys of playing with one's food.

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.

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.   

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.

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