Tooker Donates Personal Archives To Southern Food & Beverage Museum

Poppy Tooker

NEW ORLEANS – The Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFAB) announced it has received the personal collection of renowned author and radio/ television personality Poppy Tooker.

         Tooker’s contribution contains approximately 400 cookbooks and wine and food documents including the documents related to Slow Food and Louisiana foods. The archives are available for reference use in the John and Bonnie Boyd Hospitality and Culinary Library at SoFAB.

         “We are excited about Poppy’s generous and meaningful gift and are looking forward to sharing this collection with the interested public,” said Liz Williams, President of SoFAB.

         Museum reps said the collection is a testament to Tooker’s broad range of culinary interests. Her papers and books reflect her concentration on the history of New Orleans’ cuisine and her advocacy for its historic foods. Some of the volumes are inscribed to Tooker, and span the gamut – from classic treatises on cooking to contemporary celebrity chef-written books. SoFAB reps said they will share this “important collection” with culinary students, chefs, and food writers.

         The Boyd Library is a reference-only library containing more than 12,000 volumes of culinary books, food and cocktail menus, pamphlets, archival documents and a growing number of important collections, other literature and ephemera. A recent gift of the private printing of the Lena Richard Cook Book expands the growing rare book collection. Personal archives and books from Paul Prudhomme, Norman Van Aken, Louis Osteen, Dale DeGroff and others are valuable resources that can help facilitate the professional development of current and future culinary artists. The library will also house the Menu Project, an ongoing effort to collect, catalog, and digitize menus from every restaurant throughout the South and beyond. The database records the public history of eating and equips scholars with a critical tool in their study of American foodways.

         The National Food & Beverage Foundation (NatFAB) is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) nonprofit cultural enterprise. It documents and celebrates the food and drink of all cultures through exhibits, programming, and a range of media. Because everyone eats, all aspects of food and drink—culture and geography, anthropology and history, economics and politics, law and policy, media and the arts, science and technology—reveal the state of the world. NatFAB, home to the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, The Museum of the American Cocktail (MOTAC), Pacific Food & Beverage Museum, the John & Bonnie Boyd Hospitality & Culinary Library, and SoFAB Media, is among the nation's most comprehensive cultural institutions studying food and drink.

         The Boyd Library is located at 1609 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in New Orleans and is part of the umbrella organization the National Food and Beverage Foundation (NatFAB). Library hours are Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and by appointment. 

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