Cocktails and Chocolates and Tastings, oh my!

If you’ve kept your eyes open when getting around town in the last weeks, you may have seen these posters hanging around:

Les Automnales, Foire d'automne a Geneve, 11-20 November 2011, Palexpo

Yes, the 3rd Foire d’automne of Geneva. What, the site is only french? Shocking! Gotta love that spirit of internationalism in the cradle of the world’s capital.

In short, the Automnales is a fair that brings together businesses and producers and provides a space for them to present to us their best products. In the 10 days of the fair, you can visit over 400 stands, ask them questions, make contacts, patronize your favorite restaurants and bars, and buy your little heart out.  Some of the main attractions this year include:

– Free entry on the first day (which is today. Oops.)

– A “special guest”, Tunisia, where at stand 1751 you can get dates, watch daily cooking demos, and purchase pottery, linen, jewelry, carpets, hammered copper, olive oil, wine, and Tunisian pastries. There’s even kid stuff for those of you who are parents.

– Local bars and restaurant stands

– Tastings of locally made wines, apple juices, jams and syrups

– And most of all, they offer workshops on Cocktails, Personal Style, Self-defense, and Chocolate!

Lest I need to remind you of the focus of this blog and the title of this entry, it goes without saying this entry is all about the Cocktails and the Chocolate. So here is the short version of what workshops they have to offer in those categories, as far as I gather:


More than just a workshop, they say, Easyflair brings you a moment to relax and discover as you interactively learn how to wield a shaker and a bottle in the art of juggling, make classic and creative cocktails using fresh juices, and enjoy your creations.  They even have day time sessions for kids! (Don’t get your hopes up. These are non alcoholic.)

Another no brainer. Sign up and go!


Hosted by Gilles Desplanches, whose restaurant sits right at the corner of the Bel-Air fountain, the Chocolate Workshops include sessions on how to make silly rabbits, funny chestnuts, Santa Clauses, and animal-shaped cupcakes. They also offer a chocolate tasting, and demonstrations on how to make chocolate milk and cocktails. The highlight though just might be the demo on Friday the 18th by prize winning Ludovic Mercier, who will publicly create a gourmand work of art.

Hungry yet? Click here for the full schedule.

Logistics Logistics Logistics

So, you’re convinced. Here’s what you need to know.

When: 11-20 November 2011, Monday-Saturday from 11am-9pm (restaurants close at 10pm), Sunday from 10am-7pm (restaurants close at 8pm)

Where: Palexpo (halls 1, 2 and 4).

How to get there: 1) train to the airport, plus a 9 minute walk. 2) Car: highway towards Aeroport-Palexpo, Parking P12. 3) Bus 5, 28 and Y to Palexpo, OR 10, 23, 57 to Aeroport (+ 9 min walk), OR F to Grand-Saconnex Places (+5 min walk). The round trip is free with purchase of a ticket to the fair.

Price: 10chf for adults, 5chf for students, and free for anyone under 16.

Sign up for workshops here

Word to the wise: 

For those of you into gastronomy, check out the Chefs Table Goutatoo. Make a reservation at 022 761 25 25 to have a gastronomic lunch or dinner on any day of the fair.

Also, Geneve Region Terre Avenir has its own area where local producers will be showing off all sorts of deliciousness, from fruit to chocolate to cheese, all of which you can browse here.

Last but not least, click here for the stands that will be displaying organic (“bio”) products.

And keep an eye out for a review of the whole thing once I’ve seen the whole thing for myself!

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