“In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it, I’d like to write a sonnet about the Easter parade.” -Irving Berlin (1907-1971)
Taking place on April 9th this year, Easter in France brings joyful family celebrations, a perfect excuse for gathering the clans at Sunday lunch including that exciting Easter pastime, hunting for hidden chocolate eggs! Browsing the fine chocolate stores is a beautiful way to salute Paris in the spring. Admire and buy traditional eggs, bunnies, and other creative chocolate animals either “garnis” (filled with chocolate surprises) or “non-garnis” (unfilled). Here’s our selection of this year’s favorites. They are all sublime works of art. Salut les artistes ! Happy Easter – Joyeuse Pâques !
The palace hotel is celebrating its 110th birthday this year. For the occasion, Gustave, the signature Teddy Bear, is showcased for Easter as a mouthwatering chocolate creation. Under his flamboyant red uniform, the palace mascot is comprised of milk chocolate with sweet vanilla notes. Posed on a dark chocolate base, with intense, fruity flavors, the bespoke bear is stuffed with exquisite surprises. Dark chocolate eggs, roasted almond praline and Piedmont hazelnuts garnish this terrific Teddy created with love and skill by Angelo Musa, Meilleur Ouvrier de France, with Pastry Cheffe, Élisabeth Hot, under the admiring eye of head honcho Jean Imbert.
“GUSTAVE” – Limited Edition – Price: €95
25 Avenue Montaigne, 8th arrondissement
Tel: +33 (0)1 53 67 66 65
An ode to nature! Eggs that resemble the bark of trees in a forest atmosphere lined with “moss” and mini eggs. Chef Guy Martin explains: “This composition (Grand Cru dark chocolate and cocoa powder) represents life as it is in the woods where each element respects nature.”
17, rue de Beaujolais, 1st arrondissement
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 96 56 27
Culinary magicians Yannick Alléno and Aurélien Rivoire lead an exciting chocolate revolution showcased in their divine and comprehensive Easter Collection. “Passion for chocolate can equal health and low calories,” they insist. “Thanks to the discovery of special eco ingredients including birch sap water, it’s possible to obtain less sweet, just as tasty, chocolate.” Check out the lovely farmyard with hens, turtles, dragons, dinosaur eggs and more (priced from €6-€95). Also available at an exclusive pop-up at Le Gourmet, Galeries Lafayette (35 boulevard Haussmann, 9th).
The A & R boutique is located at 9, rue du Champ de Mars, 7th
Tel: +33 (0)1 82 83 03 32
With his adorable touch of humor, Pastry Chef François Perret presents a fun-filled “Mad Poule” Easter egg. It consists of a plump signature madeleine mounted on orange legs, decorated with a yellow beak, topped with a proud red aigrette, available in two flavors: dark or milk chocolate. For the dark version, the double shell is of Panama 73% dark chocolate concealing almond praline and crunchy crumble. The double milk Madagascar chocolate shell is made of hazelnut praline and crunchy crumble. A delight for the taste buds. The choice is yours – try both!
38 rue Cambon, 1st arrondissement
Tel: +33 (0)1 43 16 30 26
The name’s familiar? Jade is the talented daughter of choco-genius Jacques Genin – the chocolate does not fall far from the tree! In Jade’s recently opened, white and gold, state-of-the-art boutique ,her signature chocolate replicas of the tip of the Concorde Obelisk are “an ode to Paris, her birthplace, and its timeless beauty.”
33, avenue de L’Opera, 2nd arrondissement
Tel: +33 (0)9 87 07 17 79
What to choose from this incredible collection? Perhaps the tiny animals poking their noses through the thickets ? A paw here, two ears there, evoking the beginning of spring… A bite of crunchy milk chocolate, roasted rice and caramelized hazelnuts, sprinkled with fleur de sel, neatly camouflaged in a chocolate grove. This year it’s the rabbits who say bonjour. Welcome to the fabulous festival of Easter. Difficult to choose! Priced from €37
225, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8th arrondissement
Tel: +33 (0)1 42 27 39 44
Inspired by street art, Christelle Brua presents Lucien (named after her son), the cute chocolate bunny and the signature/muse of Madame Cacao. And, Lucien’s not just for Easter he’ll be around in different guises throughout the year. For Easter he’s garnished with roasted rice praline and filled with little Lucien rabbits! Proud of her just opened left bank boutique, Christelle, until recently pastry cheffe at L’Elysée Palace, says: “I want Madame Cacao to be a sweet destination where everyone finds something to remind them of their childhood.
10, rue du Cherche-Midi, 6th (opening 3rd April)
Highlighting the original taste of each cocoa bean, the chocolate and roasting chefs Quentin Francis-Gaigneux and Adonis Bioud and their teams respect a long, demanding and uncompromising process. After carefully selecting cocoa beans for purity and origin, they are roasted, in small quantities, according to an artisanal process, which gives Alain Ducasse Chocolate its very special character. This year’s sculptural collection is themed “down on the farm.”
Where the bells are ringing! The chic address on the Champs-Élysées unveils its creation “L’Envol du Printemps”, a pretty chocolate egg created by pastry chef Léna Thiam. “It’s my tribute to the Japanese Hanami festival celebrating the cherry blossom.” Dark chocolate, covered with cherry blossoms, symbolizing the renewal of spring, it contains dark, milk, white and dulce chocolate deliciously garnished with feuillantine praline. (€39) Oishi!
133 avenue des Champs Elysées, 8th arrondissement
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 43 77 64
Caviar Kaspia continues to develop its lifestyle range with an exclusive caviar egg paying homage to the legendary Fabergé egg, which was originally created in 1885 as an Easter gift when Tsar Alexander III ordered jeweler Pierre-Karl Fabergé to create a jewel in the form of an egg for his wife Maria Feodorovna. So, celebrating more than 10 years of partnership and friendship, Caviar Kaspia asked Maison Cristal Benito to produce an exclusive series of 14 cut crystal caviar eggs, unique pieces, numbered and signed “Cristal Benito for Caviar Kaspia”. Wish list! €7200.
Pastry chef Narae Kim pays tribute to the City of Light with a limited edition of 50 works of art (black chocolate Manjari 65% – price €180) dedicated to Notre Dame. With an LED to light up the multiple colors of the “stained glass,” the only problem is: it’s a shame to eat it!
5 rue de la Paix, 2nd arrondissement
Tel: +33 (0)1 33 58 71 10 60
For his Easter collection, PH invites us on a journey to discover the mysterious world of pre-Columbian civilizations via his unique chocolate creations. “A civilization still enigmatic in many ways,” he philosophizes. Captivated by this universe of infinite variety and the beliefs it conveys, Hermé, a passionate traveler, suggests eggs that blend into the world of primitive art. “Pre-Columbian art cultivates is mysterious, combining a multitude of cultures, styles and territories that unfold over time.”
Cédric Grolet and assistant pastry chef François Deshayes present “Hazelnut to Share.” Garnished with crispy hazelnut praline, a hint of fleur de sel, available, in dark and/or milk chocolate. Pre-order or collect from the boutique, exceptionally open Monday April 10th. Hazelnut To Share, one size, 60€.
Le Meurice Pastry by Cédric Grolet
6 rue de Castiglione, 1st arrondissement
At Le Meurice celebrate Easter with a festive brunch? Begin with a traditional basket of Cedric Grolet’s oven fresh pastries. Follow with an assortment of hot and cold appetizers to share/or not: veal pastrami, golden ball turnip, honey mustard; white asparagus, seaweed sabayon or lobster roll. Then, braised monkfish, candied green asparagus, fresh herbs or leg of lamb, wild garlic. To end on a sweet note, chefs Grolet and Deshayes suggest a selection of chocolate and praline desserts. And, traditionally, an Easter egg hunt.
Easter Brunch on Sunday, April 9th. €240 with a flute of Moët & Chandon champagne
Reserve via email: [email protected]
Or Tel: +33 (0)1 44 58 10 44
Alongside his chocolatier Nicolas Rousseau, chef Cagnes presents pieces to share showcasing the essential elements of Easter. Rabbits, hens, bells and eggs to be nibbled in dark or milk versions, mixing hazelnut, caramel or popcorn pralines, crunchy, soft or melting textures…without moderation, bien sûr.
The Easter Bunny to share – €45
Praline eggs – €27 (small) / €47 (large)
Easter classics topped with frits such as – €12 (rabbit) / €22 (chicken) / €24 (cloche)
Tiramisu pastry – 24 €
Chocolate financier – €34
24 rue des Moines, 17th arrondissement
73 rue Montorgueil, 2nd arrondissement
The signature fox beloved of Pastry Chef Yann Couvreur “returns this year even more chocolatey!,” he promises. Between the praline egg and the filled candy box, we’ll take both. (€26-€55)
From 23bis Rue des Rosiers, 4th arrondissement and Galeries Lafayette Gourmet
Lead photo credit : Tarte Nid de Poule by François Perret - Ritz Paris Le Comptoir. © Bernhard Winkelmann