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Cocoa Lab’s dessert-oriented classes are open to the public and offer uniquely-chocolate, pastry and dessert workshops presented within the hotel’s behind-the-scenes Bar Cocoa kitchen.  During each Cocoa Lab class, students work alongside one of the award-winning chefs of The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte to learn cooking techniques and prepare menu items featuring chocolate, cocoa, dessert flavors, and fresh produce and herbs from the hotel’s rooftop gardens. As a favorite part of the experience, students can savor their own creations at the end of each session. They also receive complimentary hotel parking, a recipe collection, and a keepsake apron as part of the $150 USD class fee. Each Cocoa Lab class begins with a delicious hospitality experience to be enjoyed in the hotel Lobby Lounge. 

Cocoa Lab classes for this coming year may be reserved based on availability and include:

Father’s Day Desserts | June 17, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Just what Dad has wanted all year: Bacon, Beer, Chocolate. Prepare and savor the ultimate gentleman’s collection of desserts.

  • Caramel Bacon Popcorn
  • Beer Brownies
  • Bourbon Pecan Pie

Fourth of July Celebration | July 1, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
What better way to celebrate the country than with morning of American traditional desserts?

  • Apple Pie
  • Banana Pudding
  • Brownies
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!  | July 15, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Students can beat the heat with these cool treats and learn the secret behind Bar Cocoa’s signature Honey Pecan Gelato.

  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Honey Pecan Ice Cream/Gelato
  • Strawberry Ice cream

Pastries Around the World Part 1 – Asia | August 12, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
No need to travel to Asia for these delicious treats. Learn to prepare them in our Queen City kitchen!

  • Black Sesame Chocolate Banana Cake
  • Matcha Tea Cookies
  • Fortune Cookies
  • Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Mango and Lime

French Macarons | August 19, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Back by popular demand – craft stackable French macarons like a seasoned pastry pro.

  • Student selection of macaron flavors

Pastries Around the World Part 2 – Germany | September 9th, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
These hardy desserts will keep you energized and make you feel like an authentic German pastry chef.

  • Baumkuchen (layered cake dipped in chocolate)
  • Berliner (Jelly Doughnut)
  • Bienenstich (Almond brioche with custard)

Dessert and Wine Pairing ($175 per person) | September 30, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Bar Cocoa and Hidden Wine present Ritz-Carlton house wines paired with classic desserts.

  • Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee with Fresh Berries
  • Molten Chocolate Cake
  • Key Lime Tart with Mango Chutney  

Pastries Around the World Part 3 – India | October 14, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Dive into Middle-Eastern culture and prepare traditional desserts.

  • Besan Ladoo
  • Gulab Jamun
  • Goan Coconut Cake

Happy Halloween! | October 28, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Forget the candy -- scary cupcakes and carnival candy apples are essential components of your Halloween.

  • Halloween Sugar Cookies
  • Candy Apples
  • Ghost Cupcakes

Pastries Around the World Part 4 – South America | November 4, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Come south of the border where the climate is hot, and the desserts are hotter!

  • Arroz con leche
  • Tres Leches
  • Churros
  • Chocotorta

Thanksgiving Preparation Day! | November 11, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
The crowd is coming and they will be hungry. Break out the cookbooks and let’s get started on these seasonal favorites.

  • Apple pie
  • Pumpkin Spice Cake
  • Pecan Pralines

Christmas Cookies | December 2, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Bar Cocoa is in the holiday spirt! Grab your rolling pins and piping bags – it’s cookie time.

  • Sugar Cookies
  • Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread House | December 9, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Do you love our life-size gingerbread house? Let us help you prepare a mini replica for a holiday display.

New Year’s Resolution | January 13, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Start your year off right with these delicious, healthy treats.

  • Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding with Fresh Raspberries
  • Granola Bars
  • Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Bar Cocoa Meets the Spa ($200 per person) | January 27, 2018
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Relax and explore the amazing abilities of sweet treats coupled with wellness.

  • Dark Chocolate with Dried Fruit
  • Olive Oil and Rosemary Cupcakes
  • Coconut Panna Cotta with Rose Water and Strawberries
  • 25-minute Chocolate Hand Scrub

To reserve a Cocoa Lab class, call (704) 547-2244. Early registration is recommended.  If you must cancel your spot, please notify The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte at least 48 hours in advance to avoid being charged the full price for the class.