A chocolaty year’swith our local artisanal chocolate makers
The news spread faster than a chocolate-covered wildfire! Annecy’s artisanal chocolate makers have apparently put their creativity and expertise into overdrive to fill their shops up with sweet delicious treats to celebrate the year coming to a close. Hearing the word “chocolate” made our mouths water and piqued our interest in sharing with you a glimpse of what has kept these masters busy day-in and day-out.
Les Roseaux du Lac
Lake reeds and tradition
Master pastry chef Christophe Aréchavala took over the reins of this local Annecy institution twenty-three years ago and continues to carry on the “Roseaux du Lac” tradition, chocolate sticks infused with coffee, created in Annecy in 1924. This deliciously sweet treat, inspired by the reed beds along the shores of the lake, comes in several different flavors, and the technique for making them has stayed the same since the very beginning. Those made by Christophe Aréchavala are the only ones allowed to officially bear the name “roseaux du lac” since he registered the trademark.
Every year Christophe and his pastry chef Michael Ligey, who we would like to take the time to congratulate for reaching the finals last May in the French television show, “Le Meilleur Pâtissier” (Top Pastry Chef), regale customers with the uniquely subtle tastes of their light-textured, refined pastries.
For the holidays, take a look at the new Yule log menu, which includes a limited-edition “3 Vallées” log whose list of ingredients will make your mouth water even before seeing it: cookie, pecan, creamy praline-pecan, vanilla Ganache, milk chocolate, Piedmont praline (PGI)…
© Les Roseaux du Lac
Telling stories through beautifully crafted gourmet chocolates
This well-known local artisanal chocolate maker delivers as consistently as usual, with his wide range of chocolaty appetizers and desserts. Patrick Agnellet’s creativity appears to know no bounds and never runs dry.
Through the magnificent chocolate masterpieces at his shop, the start of Advent takes on an entirely new dimension, where technical mastery triggers so many emotions. This year, the Advent calendar takes the shape of a spectacular merry-go-round.
Every year, as the holidays approach, Patrick’s vivid imagination concocts a whole host of new creative chocolate sweets, each infused with a touch of both poetry and humor. This includes his Santa Claus, placed in the most extraordinary far-fetched situations, which both kids and adults can enjoy.
Following last year’s Santa Claus Yule log, this year’s Santa Claus shows off his skateboarding skills!
The collection of edible “Gourmand’ Art” sculptures continues to expand, letting Patrick express the artistic side of his personality.
When planning for Epiphany, order Patrick’s individual chocolate king cakes topped with a crown-shaped cocoa bean, packaged in an always stylish, 100% biodegradable box that can be sent by mail.
Authentic, high-quality, gourmet sweets
Founded in 1918, Fidèle Berger is a genuine institution in Annecy. Only words like expertise and craftsmanship accurately describe the masterpieces that Laurent Baud and his team of pastry chefs make. Their most popular creations include the legendary “La Savoyarde” bell, a full range of 30 chocolate sweets, flavored or 100% chocolate truffles, liqueur chocolates, chestnuts, and chocolate-covered Morello cherries with liqueur to name a few.
Fidèle Berger’s talent resides in the fact the many of its chocolates are still made one-by-one, by hand, the old-fashioned way, allowing foodies to identify their favorite morsels by their distinctly unique shape. Opening the elegantly crafted boxes and other high-end packaging unveils a cornucopia of flavors, shapes, and colors.
© Au Fidèle Berger
An avalanche of chocolate-covered sweets
Ganache, Gianduja, “rocher” chocolate balls, praline, crispy feuilletine, cookies… at Meyer Chocolates, created in 1985 by Louis and Huguette Meyer, and managed today by their son Bruno, the infinite number of flavors available continue to regale everyone’s sweet tooth. The in-house laboratory, which produces the over one hundred chocolate sweets that make Meyer a household name, continues to innovate, creating so many original and even unexpected flavors like verbena, basil, hot pepper, licorice, ginger, coriander, violet, and even hibiscus. These sweet morsels accompany other Meyer specialties such as caramels, French macaroons, nougat, fruit paste, marshmallow, and over sixty types of original dark, milk, white, and blonde chocolate bars.
© Chocolaterie Meyer
From plantation to chocolate bar
Serges and Carine Ngassa, the founders of Cocoa Valley, make their chocolate from start to finish. In 2011, they bought land in Cameroon – where Serges was born and raised – to create a cocoa tree plantation, which produced its first harvest in 2016. The couple’s founding philosophy to create a local, environmentally responsible business, likely comes from the years they spent working for humanitarian organizations. They oversee every step of the process, from the farm to the final chocolate bar itself. The cocoa beans are sent directly to their shop in Annecy, and then separated, roasted, and made into a variety of chocolate goodies (bars, cookies, spreads, and other sweets). For every recipe, they use only the highest-quality ingredients – limited to six – to create authentic-tasting chocolate, without any additives whatsoever.
New for the end of this year, chocolate blocks and bars, chocolate Christmas trees with dried fruit, boxes of mixed chocolates, and even a chocolate-flavored rum concocted in partnerships with Serge Girard, a Guadeloupian artisan who lives in Savoie.
This wonderful story started in Serges’ kitchen, when he began to make chocolate with the tools and ingredients at hand, sending his creations to the demanding palates of starred chefs. After received incredibly positive feedback, he decided to continue the adventure. Today, Cocoa Valley has two shops, one in Villaz and the other in Epagny.
© Cocoa Valley
An another story
- © Au Fidèle Berger
- © Le Studioz / Patrick Agnellet – Epiphany chocolate cake
- © Le Studioz / Patrick Agnellet – 2021 Advent Calendar
- © Le Studioz / Patrick Agnellet – Gourmet chocolate
- © Le Studioz / Patrick Agnellet – Santa Claus Mountain
Journalist: Aude Pollet-Thiollier
Translation: Darin Reisman