Wednesday June 9, public radio station WWNO 89.9 and New Orleans food activist Poppy Tooker launch Louisiana Eats!, a weekly thirty-minute radio program about food, the people who cook, and the people who love to eat well - all with a Louisiana point of view and Poppy’s distinctive Louisiana voice. The new show will air on Wednesday nights, 6:30pm – 7:00pm CT, and will be repeated on Saturdays 12:00n – 12:30pm CT, after the popular national food program, The Splendid Table.
The inaugural program will focus necessarily on the effects of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and the dire outlook for Louisiana oysters. Poppy will talk with oystermen and other experts on the Gulf’s beloved bivalves, including: Sal Sunseri, of 134 year-old P & J Oyster Company; Chef Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen’s Restaurant and Charlies Seafood; and Mark Schexnaydre, Coastal Region Advisor for Louisiana State University’s Sea Grant Program.
In future programs, listeners will 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! Coming up on the schedule: Lolis Eric Elie, screenwriter for the HBO television series, Tremé, joins Poppy with tales of his African adventure with Top Chef Marcus Samuelsson.
Louisiana Eats! builds on the popularity of WWNO’s current culinary programs, the nationally-distributed The Splendid Table, and local short features Market Minutes and Where Y’Eat? “Our listeners have enthusiastically embraced our culinary programming,” said WWNO General Manager Paul Maassen. “Poppy Tooker is the ideal storyteller for this next step. Her life-long commitment to preserving our historic foodways adds depth and perspective that can be heard only on Louisiana Eats!”
In Louisiana Eats! Poppy Tooker displays the same passion for local foodways that she brought to her award-winning Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook, where she tells city’s story through the eyes of farmers, fishers, and vendors. The book received a special Tabasco Cookbook Award for historic and cultural content. New Orleans Magazine named it Cookbook of the Year. With her motto "Eat It To Save It" she has helped to revive endangered foods across the U.S. and abroad, in collaboration with Slow Food's Ark of Taste. Poppy's on-camera flair has made her a sought-after guest on the Food Network, the History Channel and on PBS. She provides restaurant commentary on Steppin’ Out, broadcast weekly on New Orleans public television station WYES-TV. Her many accolades include being named a Times-Picayune Hero of the Storm for her work following Hurricane Katrina. Across the country, Poppy may be best known for beating Food Network star Bobby Flay in a Seafood Gumbo Throwdown-- he didn't stand a chance.
Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.