Sweet Diplomacy

Local chocolatier Gearharts creates confections for French president's visit.

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French President Hollande and President Obama in the Hall of Monticello. - ©THOMAS JEFFERSON FOUNDATION, PHOTOGRAPH BY JACK LOONEY
  • ┬ęThomas Jefferson Foundation, photograph by Jack Looney
  • French President Hollande and President Obama in the Hall of Monticello.

Chocolatier Tim Gearhart and some of his team are in Washington, DC today to present custom chocolates to French President Francois Hollande. At a State Department luncheon hosted by Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, the Gearharts chocolates are a featured element of dessert.

The sweets are a blend of Valrhona chocolate from France, fig jam from Virginia and Bourdeaux wine from Chateau Carbonnieux, a winery Thomas Jefferson visited in 1787 while serving as Minister to France. Hollande toured Monticello yesterday with President Obama.

Gearharts produced a limited quantity of the ceremonial chocolates, but sells a similar version using wines from Barboursville Vineyards at its shops in Charlottesville and Richmond.

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