Saturday, April 11, 2020
Interview With Author & Culinary Historian Poppy Tooker
1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book? Last summer, when the old New Orleans dining bastian, Brennan’s Restaurant announced they would be hosting their first, annual drag brunch during Southern Decadence here – I knew that the concept had truly hit the mainstream and that what had started as almost a joke, was time to become a reality.
2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader? Drag Queen Brunch takes readers through the history of drag in New Orleans, introduces them to the new drag scene that has developed here over the last few years and gives them a personal look at a sampling of who is doing drag here and why. The book provides not only a behind the scenes look at life in drag, but is also accompanied by 60 delicious recipes from New Orleans best brunch restaurants. The targeted reader is both the curious, hungry cook and those wanting to learn more about the national phenomena of drag brunch.
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down? I hope that once readers have enjoyed the beauty, glamour and deliciousness of the first 158 pages, they will read the epilogue and learn about Joe Middleton and our drag queen friends from the 1980’s, the “Demented Woman” who we lost during the AIDS crisis. As HIV is now a chronic illness rather than a death sentence, it’s important that young generations remember the generation of beautiful, talented wonderful people who were lost back then.
4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
Write about what you love. This, my sixth book was a pure passion project that almost wrote itself and has been nothing but a pleasure and joy. I wish that experience for every writer one day.
5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? Just yesterday I picked up a DIY/Self Help book about “Morning Altars.” Despite it’s slightly off beat premise , the photos were so exquisite and the quality of the book itself so finely done – it gave me hope for printed product.
6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book? Wrangling a posse of drag queens is not for the timid – but this book was simply an unbridled joy, written during a beautiful spring with some of New Orleans most beautiful, classic restaurants as a backdrop.
7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? This is a book that will literally fill your belly and your soul. With every turn of the page, there’s another delightful surprise waiting for you – just like at a real, New Orleans drag brunch
About the Author
Award-winning author, media personality, educator, and culinary historian Poppy Tooker was born and bred in the birthplace of brunch—New Orleans. Poppy is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table. Her books include the award-winning titles Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook; Louisiana Eats! The People, the Food and Their Stories; Madame Begue’s Recipes of Old New Orleans Creole Cookery; Tujague’s Cookbook; and Pascal’s Manale Cookbook. She hosts the weekly syndicated radio program Louisiana Eats! and on weekends you can find Poppy hosting drag queen brunch events throughout her beloved city. Learn more about Poppy at poppytooker.com.
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