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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 winter and spring may be reserved based on availability and include:

March 11, 2017
Go Green for St. Patrick’s 
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Bar Cocoa is going green and, in one Irish case, even the beer will bring flavor.

  • Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Baileys Irish Coffee Caramel Brownies
  • Grasshopper Pie

March 25, 2017
French Macarons!
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand, this class is always a favorite – and these French morsels are beautiful as well as delicious.

  • Students’ choice of vibrant macaron colors, flavors and delicious surprise fillings

April 8, 2017
All About Cake Decorating (Part 1)

8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Top secret pastry chef techniques will help turn everyday cakes into dessert masterpieces.

  • Black Forest Torte
  • Vanilla Pound Cake
  • Red Velvet Cake

April 22, 2017
All About Advanced Cake Decorating (Part 2)
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

This class kicks it up a little – and is ideal for masters of frosting.

  • Two-Tier Cake
  • Fondant Decorations
  • Decorative Flowers

May 13, 2017
Mother’s Day Sweet Treats
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

This class salutes brunch treats designed to celebrate the most important women in our life.

  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Quiche 
  • Vanilla Crème Puffs

May 20, 2017
Fresh Garden Desserts
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Its spring, the rooftop garden is in full bloom, and the bees are here.  Students will enjoy preparing these seasonal selections using the hotel’s rooftop garden harvest and local honey.

  • Rosemary Apricot Scones
  • Lavender Panna Cotta  With Poached Pears
  • Honey Chocolate Eclairs

June 3, 2017
Dessert and Wine Pairing
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 

Bar Cocoa and Hidden Wine present Ritz-Carlton house wines paired with classic desserts.

  • Molten Chocolate Cake paired with Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Raspberry Profiteroles paired with Champagne
  • Lemon Bars paired with Chardonnay

June 17, 2017
Father’s Day Desserts
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

July 1, 2017
Fourth of July Celebration
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

July 15, 2017
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!
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

To reserve a Cocoa Lab class, call (704) 547-2244; early registration is recommended.