I mentioned that my first trip to Geneva, I was so disappointed that all of the chocolate workshops in town were on hiatus because they were ramping up for the holiday season production. So I was thrilled that my sister-in-law mentioned during their visit last week that she would be game to visit one of the workshops in Geneva. I emailed Francesca at renowned Swiss Chocolatière Stettler and even though it was Easter week, she kindly invited us to join a workshop on Holy Thursday afternoon.
The entire afternoon was delicious, and such a delight, because we had such an amazing guide in Francesca. Behind the retail shop (which she closes during the workshop to give you her full attention) is a beautiful space for hungry guests.
If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don’t, why not!?) you might have seen the below photo we took of the scrumptious plate of 11 chocolates Francesca laid out for us. She took us through a deck highlighting the origins of chocolate in the Mayan and Aztec empires as a harsh substance they drank for nutritional value, to Swiss pioneer Lindt who invented the refining chocolate “conching machine” to remove the bitterness, to the oldest Swiss chocolate factory still in existence, Cailler. It is near Gruyères, Switzerland and I cannot wait to visit.
Our unanimous favorite chocolate was not even featured on the plate – if you must know – we did cut them in half and ate the “leftovers” after dinner! It is called Pavès de Genève (“Geneva paving stones”) created by Stettler founder Paul Stettler in 1947. They are little perfectly cut cubes of chocolate (per their namesake, like cobblestones) dusted with cocoa powder and they.are.magical. They were stored in a freezer and handled with care by Francesca in gloves, naturally!
Our beloved Hershey’s seemed a little sad in comparison! The chocolates with writing on them indicated their origin – everywhere from fairly nearby Luzern, Switzerland to South America, Africa, and Cuba. The colored pearls were chocolate filled with ganaches – the orange was caramel, the green was lime and yuca, and the marroon was raspberry. I’m a sucker for salty sweet combos and loved the second chocolate with sea salt and hazelnuts.
Afterward, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law picked some chocolate to bring home for loved ones in the US, of course, with helpful guidance from Francesca! She was so knowledgeable, thoughtful, and charming. We had such a fun and tasty afternoon, and I so look forward to bringing many, many friends and family back for return workshops!
- Workshop Location: 10, Rue de Berne, 1201 – Geneva, Switzerland
- Cost: 40 CHF per person
- Workshop Length is one hour.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a workshop.