On Louisiana Eats! NOLA food icon Poppy Tooker takes us into Louisiana's wide open fields, deep waters, bustling markets, and busy kitchens. Poppy's people are carrying on the traditions of Louisiana's wholly local but universally celebrated food, from farm to table, and sometimes barroom! Poppy roams the State to find the folks whose inspiration and innovation are taking the abundant wealth of Louisiana's food culture into the future. Let's eat!
At one point in their lives, each of our guests had to choose whether or not they would inherit a family business. The answer didn't always come quick and, most of them had to change the business to make it their own, but each decided to carry their family's tradition to the next generation.
The Avenue Pub had been a family business for nearly 20 years before Polly Watts claimed it for herself. It was the kind of place where patrons bought cheap beer and knocked back shots of Jagermeister, but Polly knew there wasn't a future down that road, at least not for her. When she reshaped the menu, she ultimately reshaped the bar into one of the Southeast's best destinations for craft beer.
Vance Vaucresson didn't have to overhaul his family's recipes when he inherited their Creole sausage company, but his journey to the head of the company was as challenging as we can imagine. Vance's personal story will have you leaning in close to your radio.
Of course, family dynamics aren't isolated to Louisiana. Liam Callahan followed in his mother's lead to become a gourmet cheesemaker in the rolling hills of Petaluma, California and traveled as far as Italy to sharpen his skills. His family's dairy has been providing sheep's cheese to high-end stores and fining dining restaurants for roughly two decades, including the all-local, all-seasonal restaurant of Chez Panisse. Their head chef Cal Peternell has brought his family through the restaurant so often, it's hard for him to distinguish between his domestic and professional families.
Tune in to find out what keeps all of these families together.