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New Delights Unveiled by Pastry Chef Crystal Broadbent and Team; No Cooking Experience Required

CHARLOTTE, NC – January 16, 2017 – Cocoa Lab, headquarters for the popular cooking class series inspired by the desserts of Bar Cocoa at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, has announced its roster of winter and spring workshops from hotel Pastry Chef, Crystal Broadbent.

The seven seasonal sessions are scheduled for February 11 and 12, March 11 and 25, April 8 and 22, May 13 and 20, June 3 and 17, and July 1 and 15, 2017. The interactive workshops will be highlighted by instruction and tasting of special delights including Molten Chocolate Cake, French Macarons, Grasshopper Pie, Red Velvet Cake, Black Forest Torte, Quiche, Honey Chocolate Eclairs, Raspberry Profiteroles with Champagne, and more.

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:

February 11 & 12, 2017
Valentine’s Chocolate Delights
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Roses are red, violets are blue, Bar Cocoa has chocolate in mind for you.

  • Molten Chocolate Cake
  • Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
  • Chocolate Truffles
  • Chocolate Macarons

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.  The AAA Five-Diamond Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is located at 201 East Trade Street, at the corner of Trade and College Streets, in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina. For further information, please visit the hotel website at, or to engage directly with the property, visit For room reservations, visit the hotel website, call 1-800-241-3333, or contact a travel professional.