201 East Trade Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202 USA
Phone:  +1 (704) 547-2244   •  Map & Directions

Cocoa Lab - 2015 Classes

In each upcoming Cocoa Lab session, a maximum of six students will work alongside one of the award-winning chefs of The Ritz-Carlton to learn cooking techniques and prepare menu items featuring chocolate, cocoa, dessert flavors, herbs from the hotel’s rooftop chef’s garden, or Carolina fresh fruits of the season. Students will be able to savor the day’s creations at the end of each morning session, and they will receive complimentary parking, a recipe collection and keepsake apron as part of the $100 class fee. Cocoa Lab classes for July through November 2015 will feature the following menu inclusions:

November 21, 2015
Fall Harvest
8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Crisp autumn air inspires four flavorful fall desserts. Class menu includes:

  • Apple Crostada with Cheddar Crust
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies (gluten-free)
  • Pumpkin Pie, Ginger Mascarpone Crème
  • Brown Sugar Custard, Spice Poached Pears

December 13, 2015
Classic Holiday Desserts, $100 class fee
11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Holiday guests will be impressed with these elegant seasonal desserts that can transition to serve a crowd or a sophisticated dinner. Class menu includes:

  • Chocolate Spice Cake
  • Pear Cranberry Cris
  • Sweet Potato Pound Cake, Bourbon Glaze
  • Toffee Bread Pudding, Vanilla Bean Anglaise

December 17, 2015
Traditional Holiday Cookies, $90 class fee
6:45 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Cocoa Lab’s most popular class, these three new cookies will add to any holiday repertoire.

  • Sweet Potato Brown Butter Cookies
  • Cherry Pecan Bar
  • Chewy Chocolate Walnut Cookies
  • Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

December 18, 2015
Gingerbread House Creation, $90 class fee
6:45 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Gingerbread House Creation:

Participants will learn how to decorate a gingerbread house as well as make the dough and icings needed to create a sturdy structure. Topics include:

  • Gingerbread Dough
  • Royal Icing
  • Piping and Decorating

December 20, 2015
Holiday Eclairs and Croquembouche, $100 class fee
11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Learn the art of pâte à choux dough and its multiple uses in both éclairs and profiteroles. Also learn as well as how to assemble a miniature version of the hotel’s annual croquembouche holiday tree. Class menu includes:

  • Chocolate Coconut Éclair
  • Orange Cranberry Éclair
  • Vanilla Bean Profiterole
  • Chocolate Baileys Profiterole

What are the age limits for your classes? Adult Classes: Age 18 and up/Teen Classes: Age 15 – 17

How often do your classes change? You will find that new classes are offered every three months. This will include popular favorites as well as seasonal and holiday classes.

How much food is served in your classes? For our hands-on classes, full-sized portions are prepared and served.

What should I wear to the cooking class? You should dress casually and comfortably. Students should wear long pants, a shirt with sleeves, and flat, closed-toe shoes. We will provide you with an apron to wear during class.

How many people are in the class? As it is a hands-on experience, we limit the class size to eight people.

Will I get a copy of the recipes to take home? You will receive a recipe packet to refer to during class, and it is yours to keep.

Will I make all of the items on the menu? Yes, you will be divided into teams of two, and then each team will prepare the entire menu. The instructor will demonstrate the techniques and provide guidance during the class.

Where do I go once I arrive at The Ritz-Carlton? The meeting point will be Bar Cocoa. The chef will meet you there and take you back to the Cocoa Lab.

Should I register for the class in advance? All classes require advanced registration.

How much does it cost to take the classes? The price of each class varies and is listed in the class description. Prices and length of class may vary by subject.

Do you have a waiting list for sold-out classes? Yes, waiting lists are maintained for all sold-out classes. You will be contacted if a space becomes available.

Do you have a cancellation policy? Yes, it is forty-eight hours.

Do you get a student discount for items purchased at Bar Cocoa? How long is the discount offered? Students receive a ten percent discount after the class on all Bar Cocoa retail items. The discount is good for the entire day of the class.


Consider a Ritz-Carlton Gift Card, valid for cooking classes at Cocoa Lab, for a loved one, friend or colleague. Please call (704) 547-2244 to purchase a card.