Food personality, culinary teacher and author, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table. Poppy brings all of these elements together in her weekly NPR affiliated radio show, ***Louisiana Eats! Louisiana Eats! was awarded first, second and third place Best Radio Show by the New Orleans Press Club in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, the national Taste Awards recognized Louisiana Eats! in the category of best beverage and drinks programming. Poppy provides weekly restaurant commentary on the PBS show, Steppin’ Out seen on WYES TV.
Poppy is the author of four books. The Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook, published in 2007, received a Tabasco cookbook award and was named “Cookbook of the Year” by New Orleans Magazine. In 2012, Poppy revised one of New Orleans’ oldest cookbooks, Madame Begue’s Recipes of Old New Orleans Cookery, updating the original recipes for the 21st century home cook. Louisiana Eats! based on interviews from her radio show of the same name, won the Louisiana Library Association’s 2013 Literary Award of the Year.
Her latest book, the Tujague’s Restaurant Cookbook – Creole Recipes and Lore in the Grand New Orleans Tradition published in the fall of 2015.
With her motto, “Eat It To Save It”, Poppy has been instrumental in reviving many endangered foods and food traditions. 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. In March, 2012, Southern Living magazine named Poppy a “Hero of the New South.” Most recently, the Daughters of the American Revolution named Poppy as a “Woman of the Arts.”
For over 25 years Poppy’s classes have centered on history and tradition as well as the food science reasons of why and how while remaining eminently entertaining. Food and Wine magazine described Poppy’s teaching techniques by saying “She may wear ceramic red beans in her ears and make finger puppets out of crawfish, but her class is certainly no joke. Rather, it compels you to take reams of notes so as not to forget a single nugget of her fascinating culinary wisdom.”