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!

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.

Since most Louisianians are nurtured to embrace an extraverted social life, getting together is second nature to life in the Bayou State. But as often as bombastic parades and revelries help build our communities, spending time over at ya mom’s house is just as important.

On this week’s Louisiana Eats! we’re joined by a group of guests who want nothing more than for you to be comfortable in your own home.

Nancy Vienneau tells us how the monthly gatherings at her house turned her neighbors into friends; David and Lesley Solomonson help build an inexpensive liquor cabinet; and Johnette Downing keeps the kids entertained with upbeat songs about Louisiana cuisine.  

At one point during his cooking career, Donald Link's co-workers nicknamed him "Hot Shot." Was it deserved? That depends on who you ask. Donald shares his side of the story with us in a revealing interview that takes you from the rock and roll kitchens of San Francisco to his award-winning restaurants in New Orleans.

With so much dissenting information over dietary choices, it's tough to know which regime is right for you. We're not choosing sides, but in the next hour on Louisiana Eats! we'll speak with experts who know where they firmly stand.

Nina Teicholz spent nine years researching The Big Fat Surprise, which advocates a diet of meat, cheese, dairy and eggs. Not your style? Stick around for Wynnie Stine's reflections on The Moosewood Collective, an innovative restaurant built on 60's idealism. 

We'll also visit Veggie Fest in New Orleans, screen The 100 Foot Journey, and confront stress eating with nutritionist Molly Kimball

There's no shortage of bars in New Orleans, but if you're looking to get a specialty craft beer the The Avenue Pub should be among the first places you go.

When it's unbearably hot in Louisiana, there's not much you can do to beat the heat. Take a tip from the guests on this week's Louisiana Eats!: cool down with a brew or leave town for a couple of weeks.

Michel Nischan, Toby Rodriguez and Brian Kyzar are all men with grand ambitions. Even though they work in different parts of the country, they each plan to bring about changes within their niche of the food industry. 

Michel's been in the game for over 35 years. Among the many jobs he's had, Michel's done farm work, cooked in a kitchen, and opened a restaurant with Paul Newman. Now he's focused on changing food policy on the federal level. We hope you'll be as inspired by Michel as we have.

Then we'll speak with Toby Rodriguez and Brian Kyzar as they prepare for a pop-up dinner on Frenchmen Street. They're joining us to talk about reviving the Cajun traditions that were on the verge of extinction as little as five years ago.  

Plus, Dr. Gourmet returns and Poppy shares a recipe for fried shrimp heads: don't let them go to waste!

Michel Nischan grew up spending time on his grandfather’s farm, so the thought of eating fresh food was second nature to him.

As he got older, he worked in kitchens and found out most of his customers weren’t too keen on the idea. He had to lie to them about where he was getting their food. 

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