For the first time ever, Cartier has created an ephemeral tea room from the celebrity French pastry chef, Christophe Michalak. Located at its Geneva boutique, you don’t want to miss this special event.
L’Écrin by Michalak: An Ephemeral Café
From December 8 to 23, 2017, Cartier is hosting its first-ever tea room, L’Écrin. Located on the second floor of its boutique on Rue du Rhône in Geneva, I arrived one day before its opening. During my visit, I had the chance to try some of Michalak‘s elegant French pastries and meet with the master chef himself.
For its temporary tea room, Cartier reached out to Michalak. He is well-known in France for his pastry shops and cookbooks. In addition, he has appeared on popular French-language television programs, such as “Qui sera le prochain grand pâtissier?” and “Le gâteau de mes rêves.” In 2005, he was part of the team from France that won the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie (world cup of pastry) competition.
Michalak is known for creating pastries with a sort of “rock ‘n roll” touch. His desserts have a colorful, flashy and stand-out look with great flavors. This year, his Christmas collection has the theme of, “Un Noël Rock.” It features a bright red bûche de Noël in the shape of an electric guitar. This collection also features a chocolate bûche flavored with yuzu and hazelnuts.
Michalak in Switzerland
At Geneva’s Cartier Boutique, with large picture windows overlooking Lac Léman, Michalak has brought his signature flavors and creativity. The menu of the tea room features his delicate pâtisseries. For example, you will find Michalak’s Pavlova Royale with a touch of classic red for Cartier. There’s also a Mont Blanc Marron Coco (chestnut and coconut) and a Religieuse Caramel Beurre Salé. His gourmandises on the menu include “Les Koonies.” These are a cross between cookies and brownies. In addition, the café serves bonbons with flavor pairings like anise and coffee or orange and jasmine.
During his most recent visit to Switzerland, Michalak told me that he visited MR & MRS RENOU, a pâtisserie and chocolaterie in nearby Carouge. The shop’s co-owner, Christophe Renou, trained under Michalak for two years and earned the coveted Meilleur ouvrier de France for pastry n 2015.
When I asked Michalak if he could tell me his favorite Swiss dish, he said that he liked the classic combination of double cream and meringues from the Gruyère region. These Swiss meringues are somewhat reminiscent of his light and creamy meringue-based pavlova. He serves them with whipped cream and fresh raspberries at the tea room.
Visiting L’Ecrin at the Cartier Boutique
With a festive holiday atmosphere and exceptional French pastries from a celebrity chef, this special temporary space offers up a taste of Paris, right in the heart of Geneva. To visit L’Écrin at the Cartier boutique, you must make a reservation in advance by calling 022 818 54 10.
L’Écrin will be open from December 8 to 23, 2017, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. While Michalak was in Geneva for the opening of the tea room, he has enlisted the help of the French caterer, Potel & Chabot, for the rest of the month.
L’Écrin at Boutique Cartier Genève, Rue du Rhône 35, 1204 Geneva, +41 (0)22 818 54 10.
Updated: May 10, 2022