Geraldine Maras, head chocolatière
Geraldine Maras has been head chocolatière at Maison Cailler since 2014. Previously, her chocolate-making career had taken her to all sorts of exotic places, for example from the Caribbean to Antarctica on board the MS Hanseatic cruise ship. She also worked in Sydney and Bangkok, training young chocolatiers. In 2015, Geraldine won the title of Confectioner of the Year at the Swiss Chocolate Masters. That same year, in the international confectioners’ competition at the World Chocolate Masters, she finished in the top ten, as the only female chocolatier.
Geraldine’s all-time favourite since her very first visit to the bakery: the chocolate Gugelhopf cake
Thomas Mair, chocolatier
Thomas Mair has chocolate-making in his genes. As a child, Thomas loved helping his father in the family bakery. After working for a few years as a confectioner in Switzerland, he went to live in America in 1996. Thomas opened his own patisserie, and later began teaching at Virginia College in Birmingham, Alabama. In the US, he was awarded the title of Certified Executive Pastry Chef by the American Culinary Federation, and also won silver and bronze awards in various competitions. Since 2014, he has been part of the chocolatier team at Maison Cailler.
Thomas’s favourite chocolate: the unmistakable Fémina praline in the blue-and-white wrapper
Patrick Schneider, chocolatier
Confectioner Patrick Schneider’s love of chocolate has taken him all over the world. He has worked as a patissier in a 5-star hotel in Bermuda and as head pastelero in Mexico, and complemented his chocolate-making experience with American chocolate expertise in the US. Back in his homeland, Patrick ran the largest patisserie in La-Chaux-de-Fonds for 20 years. His interest in different cultures brought him to Maison Cailler at the beginning of 2015, where he introduces students from all over the world to the chocolatier’s sweet trade at the Atelier du Chocolat.
Patrick’s favourite recipe: sorbet with exquisite cocoa and fresh fruits