Poppy Tooker



Poppy Tooker is the popular host of the radio show Louisiana Eats! and the television show Eat It to Save It! She is a classically trained chef and cooking teacher who is passionate about food and the people who make it. She is tireless in her efforts to preserve and restore the food traditions of her beloved home. Tooker strives to educate readers on the importance of reviving foods that are pivotal to the cultures of New Orleans and Louisiana.


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Louisiana Eats! The People, the Food, and Their Stories


Madame Bégue's Recipes of Old New Orleans Creole Cookery

Elizabeth Kettenring came to New Orleans from Germany in 1853. She married Louis Dutreuil and opened a restaurant in the French Quarter in 1863. After Dutreuil’s death, she married Hippolyte Bégue and changed the restaurant’s name from Dutrey’s to Bégue’s.

Madame Bégue served only one meal, a “second breakfast,” at 11 a.m., a popular time for those who had been at work since before dawn in the French Quarter and on the docks. When tourists came to the city for the Cotton Centennial in 1884, the late breakfast at Madame Bégue’s became very popular and this is where the concept of “brunch” originated!

Madame Bégue was New Orleans’s original celebrity chef. Her first cookbook, Madame Bégue’s Recipes of Old New Orleans Creole Cookery, was published in 1900.

Out of print since 1937, this rare treasure was republished by the Pelican Publishing Company in fall 2012, with a foreword by Poppy Tooker and updated recipes for the 21st century cook.


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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