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It was David Guas’s grandmother from Amite, Louisiana who taught him about “good eatin’.” “Granny” took David to pick seasonal blackberries, strawberries, and wild berries from the back woods, to then puree and stew them to serve with poultry and meats. This early knowledge served him well. His first high-profile job was as Associate Pastry Chef at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans. When Executive Chef Jeff Tunks moved to Washington, DC to open his own restaurant, he asked David to join him.

For nearly ten years, David Guas was the Executive Pastry Chef of Acadiana, Ceiba, DC Coast, and TenPenh restaurants. He has since left working full time in a restaurant to pursue catering and consulting.


Q. Do you have a childhood memory related to dessert?

A. Eclairs -- my grandfather would pick me up every Sunday morning and bring me to McKenzie’s Bakery (now closed) and tell me I could have whatever I wished. I ordered buttermilk drop donuts, hot glazed [donut], and always an eclair. It had chocolate on top, great choux pastry, and the wonderful vanilla flavored goo (pastry cream). It never made it home.

Q. Taking the belief that “life is short, eat dessert first” what’s the one dessert you will never turn down?

A. Pie.

Q. For Mardi Gras, what are the key elements to look for in a King Cake?

A. For me, I like the traditional ones; no fruit fillings or cream cheese inside.

Q. What sweet would you admit to as your guilty pleasure?

A. Peanut Butter Cups.

Q. Is there one ingredient that you would describe as a baker’s best friend?

A. The vanilla bean.

Q. What’s the one thing you never tire of baking?

A. Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Q. What do you bake for your kids? 

A. Well, it isn’t baking, but stove top chocolate pudding!


DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet  Tooth, New Orleans Style

Purchase at: Amazon





1515 North Courthouse Road

Arlington, VA 22201

T: 207.871.9170



Mon - Fri: 7am - 9pm

Sat: 8am - 9pm

Sun: 8am - 4pm


Pastry Chef



Photo Credit: Scott Suchman


Q & A


Pastry Chef’s Recs | Inspiration

Mentor & Inspiration | Bo Friberg, Certified Master Pastry Chef

He is the Department Chair of the Baking and Pastry Program at The Professional Culinary Institute in Campbell, California. He has authored a number of books including: The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry.


Pastry Chef’s Recs | Washington, DC Area

Charbroiled Oysters at Arcadiana | Mussels and Frites at Brasserie Beck | Pizza at Pupatella

Photograph courtesy of Arcadiana | Brasserie Beck | Pupatella

Eat | Restaurants

Real Louisiana Cuisine | Acadiana

Being a Louisiana boy I sometimes need a taste of home, and nobody does upscale Louisiana fare like Acadiana. Their Charbroiled Oysters are beyond addicting.

Cuban | Ceiba

Their Cuban Sandwiches are one of the best pressed sandwiches in town, with a proper dose of mustard and pickles. Wash it all down with their famous margaritas, and it gives me a taste of my Cuban background.

Belgian | Brasserie Beck

I head to Brasserie Beck for some of the best casual Belgian fare around. Nothing beats their classic mussels and frites: with garlic, white wine, and vermouth. They also have a killer beer list that always keeps me interested in trying more.

Italian | Pupatella

They have fantastic, authentic Neapolitan pizza, and their Arancini Balls (one with sausage and one with eggplant) are unbelievable. When you walk in and see that classic oven straight from Italy, you know it’s going to be good. And it’s a family joint, which I always have a lot of respect for.

American / Sandwiches | Thirsty Bernie’s

If I’m craving something hearty and meaty, Thirstie Bernie’s is the way to go. Thirsty Bernie’s has, hands down, the best Reuben Sandwich in town, and all of their sausages and meats -- from the beef in the burgers to the Polish sausage in the Kielbasa (by Jamie Stachowski) -- just hit the spot. My boys love the Fisherman’s Net, a nirvana for fried seafood lovers with fried calamari, oysters, and rock shrimp.

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Pastry Chef’s Recs | New Orleans, LA

The Leidenheimer Bread Truck

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Find | Bread

Bread For Po-Boys

Are you kidding me, there is only one bread in New Orleans and that’s Leidenheimer, baby!

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Port Of Call | Cochon

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Eat | Restaurants


Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski are two of the best in New Orleans right now. They have some of the best meat you can find anywhere, and I always know I am going to have an exciting and solid meal.

Port of Call

It may not be classic New Orleans fare, but it’s a favorite for me. They truly have some of the best burgers I have ever tasted. It’s a great local dive. Just don’t get a Monsoon with it, unless you’re planning on taking the rest of the night off.

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Abbeville, LA | Richard’s Seafood Patio

For Boudin with saltines.

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Aunt Sally’s Pralines | Hubig’s Pies

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Eat | Sweets

Aunt Sally’s Pralines

After a trip to Café du Monde for beignets, I always wander down the river side of the market to Aunt Sally’s Praline Shop, where the smell of caramelizing sugar and pecans lure me into the store. These pralines are still made by hand, the same way they’ve been doing it for over 25 years. Seeing them make these treats by hand always brings me back to my childhood of watching them stir and scoop the sweets.

Hubig’s Pies

Their hand-made pies are created with a from-scratch piecrust and filled with seasonal and mostly local fruit, ranging from cherries, peaches, sweet potatoes, lemon, apple, and more. They’re a beloved staple of school kids, truck drivers, and legislators alike --heck, even long-term overnighters at the Orleans Parish Jail are fans. It’s always one of the first things I do when I get home -- get a Hubig Pie. It just tastes like home.


Clancy’s is a super neighborhood-type spot on Annunciation Street frequented by lots of locals, myself included. It’s intimate, and always makes me feel right at home. While we’ll happily listen to the waiter’s dessert specials, our mind is always made up the second we talk through the door: Lemon Icebox Pie. It’s one of the few desserts we actually fight over.

Roman’s Candy

It’s easy to take certain things for granted in New Orleans…but there’s one thing, one guy actually, who I don’t take for granted -- Ron Kotteman, also known as the Roman Candy Man. Ron sells his grandfather’s taffy-like candy, who started the cart in 1915, most often along St. Charles Avenue in the Garden District. Whenever I see Ron’s cart pulled to the curb or hear him ringing his bell to let people know he’s there, I breathe a huge sigh of relief. Then I pull over and buy one of each flavor.

Plum Street Sno-Balls

I can’t imagine a New Orleans summer without the promise of a sno-ball at the end of an endlessly hot day. While there are lots of sno-ball stands in the city, one of my favorites is the Plum Street outfit uptown. Family owned, they serve their sno-balls in Chinese-style takeout containers set into a plastic bag.

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Drink | Cocktails

Classic New Orleans Cocktails | Sazerac Bar & Commander’s Palace

For a Sazerac, go to the Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt New Orleans Hotel. Commander’s Palace does a great brandy milk punch.

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Details of David Guas’ recommendations for where to eat in New Orleans and Washington, DC.


- Campfire Cast Iron Cornbread

City Guides

- Washington, DC: Download

- New Orleans, LA: Download | Online