The Embassy of Hungary and the Embassy of Switzerland in Doha have engaged in a friendly and very sweet cooperation by presenting their chocolate and dessert making traditions and heritage at a Luxury Chocolate and Dessert Show in Mondrian Doha Hotel, the Hospitality Partner of the Show on 29 April 2019. Läderach from Switzerland and chocoMe from Hungary, both present with their own shops in Doha, introduced their delicacies at the event. Qatar Airways, our other main sponsor, helped us bringing two master chefs from Gerbeaud, a traditional Hungarian fine dessert manufactory and coffee house in central Budapest.
One may wonder what is common in the field of chocolates and confectionery between Hungary and Switzerland. 160 years ago, there was a vivid coffee culture in Geneva, Vienna as well as in Budapest. Coffee houses were the typical places of socializing and meetings for the middle class and the high society. Even the Hungarian revolution in 1848 against the Habsburg Empire of Austria started in a coffee house in central Budapest.
In 1858, a Hungarian called Henrik Kugler opened his café-confectionary, which ranked among the top posh places in Budapest, based on elegance and the fine selection of cakes. However, Kugler did not have any descendants to inherit his business, so he asked the well-known Swiss confectioner from Geneva, Mr. Finaz, to offer him a talented and young professional. Émile Gerbeaud’s name was proposed, and soon the two confectioners met. Émile Gerbeaud fell in love with Budapest and Kugler’s café-house, so he moved with his wife and five daughters to the city. He later took over the place from Kugler and the rest is now history. Gerbeaud gained the former Kugler house international fame and soon Gerbeaud became the epitome of fine desserts, cakes, confectionaries. After the death of Kugler, the café-house has continued its operation under the name of Gerbeaud, and it is still with us despite the harsh European history of the 20th century.
With his excellent Swiss education and dedicated professionalism, Gerbeaud brought a brand new interpretation of confectionery by creating fine desserts and introducing new methods and technologies in the industry. This perfectionism is still alive in contemporary dessert and chocolate making, which is best presented by Läderach from Switzerland and ChocoMe from Hungary.
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