Last week the city of Lausanne unveiled its Official Chocolate for 2023-2025, passing the honor on from confections made by Laurent Buet from Maison Buet to those of Christian Boillat. The competition took place in two rounds – the first with members of the media including The Lausanne Guide and the second with Lausanne’s municipal leaders.
For this year’s competition, six of Lausanne’s 17 independent chocolate makers submitted their proposals – boxes of chocolates meant to symbolically capture a specific essence of the city. One was red and white, like its official colors; another employed local honey infused with rosemary from Lausanne’s gardens; and yet another used blueberries from the Vaudois alps and sold in our markets.
In addition to being evaluated on taste, Lausanne asked that each entry be fairtrade and in a fully recyclable box.
On the morning of the first round, the six members of the jury gathered in an elegant conference room at the Hotel de Ville. As if that didn’t make the business feel serious enough, Grégoire Junot, the Mayor of Lausanne stopped by to encourage us in our work.
We tasted each of the six chocolates in concentrated silence, each rating them according to a number of different attributes from texture to taste, look and creativity. We tallied our individual responses and one thing was clear – our top choice was the box that surprised us all with its innovative and high-tech interpretation of the project – “Ville en Silhouette” by Christian Boillat.
Despite the obvious visual impact of the Lausanne skyline in chocolate, we loved that the use of the laser to cut the chocolate also communicates that Lausanne is more than just a charming historic town. We’re also a center of technology and scientific advancement.
Other than the obvious accolades that come with having the word “official” tacked to the front of your products, what does it really mean for a city to have an official chocolate? Though it might sound like a quaint honorary achievement, it’s no small thing.
One of the functions of the city is to represent Lausanne in various international delegations and events. At each of these gatherings, it’s customary to bring a gift that represents the city. And what better than the artisanal achievements of our local chocolate-makers to communicate the spirit of the city?
Of course, these chocolates aren’t just for foreign dignitaries. Christian Boillat plans to have them ready by mid-December, just in time for Christmas gifts as well. So, if you’re travelling outside of Lausanne for the holidays and don’t want to take yet another bottle of wine or half-wheel of raclette to offer your hosts, the “Ville en Silhouette” box is a wonderful option.