Mad About Éclairs

Monday, July 14, 2014

The art of French pâtisserie is not limited to only macarons. It includes one of my all-time favorites, the éclair. It is one of the most versatile pastries, with endless possibilities of flavor combinations and many ways to improvise; in terms of flavor and presentation.

In celebrating National Chocolate Éclair Day – that was on 22 June, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts announced the launch of its first-ever global éclair programme. This programme is in partnership with award-winning chef, Johnny Iuzzini. This unique culinary collaboration will see Chef Iuzzini creating eight signature éclair recipes exclusively for Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts over the next 12 months, inspired by his global tour of select Le Méridien destinations. I'm pretty glad Malaysia is one of his chosen destinations!

Chef Johnny Iuzzini is an award winning pastry chef who hails from the Catskills region in upstate New York. He has been featured numerous times on print and on TV. He is the author of DESSERT FOURPLAY: Sweet Quartets From A Four-Star Pastry Chef, with a second book, Sugar Rush, out this September. Not just any chef, he also devotes time to his other passion, motorcycle racing. (Hence the Ducati in the photo above.)

Guests will now be able to sample these yummy Parisian treats at both Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur and Le Méridien Kota Kinabalu. Both hotels will carry the three signature flavors of coffee, chocolate and vanilla. In addition, there will also be unique creations by the hotel's local teams – based on ingredients, flavor and theme.

Since we're in KL, let me talk about Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur’s Pastry Head Chef Loh Mee Fong, who recreated the chic Parisian pastry with innovative flavors, inspired by seasonal ingredients and local tastes. There are 6 flavors including Pistachio + Orange, Mascarpone + Salted Caramel and Banana + Mango; alongside classic flavors of chocolate and vanilla.

“The pâte à choux was a compulsory technique I had to learn as a chef in training and the cream fillings in the past were basic flavours of chocolate, coffee and vanilla. With the revival of éclairs, I’m eager to showcase our endless variety of seasonal fillings, using only premium ingredient.” 
– Pastry Head Chef, Loh Mee Foong

“We are not inventing a new dessert; we are just simply giving an old silhouette a new appeal that is covered with vibrant colors that is delicious yet pleasing to the eyes.” – Executive Chef, Antoine Rodriguez

This July, Le Méridien is making your éclair experience more special by introducing the "Éclair Hour", where complimentary mini éclairs will be distributed at Le Méridien HUB between 3pm and 5pm. Éclairs will also be included in all guestrooms as well as the Club Lounge for breakfast and the buffet counter at Latest Recipe for dinner. Now, doesn't that make you want to sink your teeth into some of these babies? Have a bite and #LMeclair! ;)

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