What happens when an orthopaedic surgeon from Connecticut moves to New Orleans for a year of subspecialty training in kids' bone problems? A marriage, literally, of North and South.
Dr. Bill Accousti moved to New Orleans in 2001 where he met his wife, Tiffany, a Louisiana girl. The couple shared a mutual interest in each other’s unique cultures and culinary traditions. Fifteen years and two children later, Dr. Bill began blending the pure, northern maple syrup he grew up with and the rich, southern cane syrup his wife and other locals enjoyed so much. Their children, Anna and Will, agreed the taste was “out of this world,” and Dr. Bill’s Cane & Maple Syrup was born.
As a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Bill understood a young body’s requirement for Vitamin D and its role in building healthy bones and tissue. He began experimenting with ways of incorporating Vitamin D into his syrup blend, which was something that had never been done before. “It’s like trying to mix oil and water. Creating an emulsion that preserved the golden brown beauty of the syrup and its natural flavor proved challenging. Once I had it right, Dr. Bill’s Cane & Maple Syrup was ready for production," said Dr. Bill.
Since 2016, Dr. Bill’s Syrup has been served in some of New Orleans’ most popular restaurants — from neighborhood breakfast joints to fine dining establishments. The popularity of the syrup grew as local restaurants began using Dr. Bill’s Syrup in specialty cocktails, and bottles emerged on the shelves of local grocery stores.
“I love to cook, and I love to invent things. Combining these two interests is a lot of fun for me,” said Dr. Bill, adding sheepishly that his wife would rather not share a kitchen with him some days.
The vitamin-fortified syrup is amazingly versatile, and Dr. Bill’s customers are using it on more than just traditional breakfast items. From baking and creating sweet and savory sauces to sweetening craft cocktails and coffee, Dr. Bill’s is becoming a mainstay in local household kitchens. By 2019, over 60 stores in Louisiana and Mississippi had begun stocking Dr. Bill’s Cane & Maple Syrup.
“I love watching people try it for the first time,” said Dr. Bill. “Their faces say it all. They love the idea and are surprised by how unique and wonderful it tastes.”
One of Dr. Bill’s first and favorite recipes is a version of New Orleans' famous Bananas Foster. “I call it Rocket Foster,” he said. “Everyone loves eating the original version, but it is not such a simple thing to reproduce at home...until now. Although Rocket Foster takes a fraction of the time to prepare and uses only three ingredients, it’s just as delicious,” said Dr. Bill, who will readily whip up a batch at anyone’s request.
Dr. Bill is often asked about the meaning of the rocket on the label. “I just love rockets, always have!” He and his son enjoy building and launching them at the nearby park. “Just like fireworks and magic, rockets always draw a crowd.” Dr. Bill has countless interests that attract lots of attention. “Combining some of them just seems quite natural,” he said. “Kind of like cane and maple syrup!”