1. An éclair of local flair: chicory, sassafras, herbsaint, Peychaud's bitters

#Celebrity #pastry #chef Johnny Iuzzini is unlocking sweet secrets worldwide, one éclair at a time. 

Dashingly handsome, hauntingly reminiscent of #AnthonyBourdain - minus the swear words, sporting darker hair - the #JamesBeard-winning ex-pastry chef of #JeanGeorges in New York is whipping up an éclair inspired by #NewOrleans before my very eyes.

His éclair, created for the new Le Meridien New Orleans, conjures up the essence of the Big Easy, composed of its signature ingredients - like chicory in its cream filling, for the city's chicory-flavored #coffee. Sassafras - since ground sassafras leaves, called file powder, are used in gumbo, its sublime seafood soup. Herbsaint, an anise-flavored liqueur, and Peychaud's bitters, both found in the Sazerac #cocktail invented here, in in the fondant. 

It's one of eight éclairs with local flair he's concocting for the #Paris-born hotel chain, now part of Starwood Hotels, from Dallas (a Texas honey pecan flavored éclair)  to Budapest, and his progress can be seen in The Éclair Diaries, a video #travelogue series on #YouTube, where he visits local #chefs, #bars and #markets to soak up destination-specific flavors.  

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