Charlie Chaplin’s Shoes Are Made of Chocolate
Blaise Poyet has a passion for chocolate that is not precious. ‘I love all kinds of chocolate,’ he says, and so he should. As a first generation chocolatier it is his ambition to take chocolate candies and confections to another level. And that requires the creation of a reputation.
For almost twenty years he has been building that reputation on the Swiss Riviera in Vevey, where the celebration of chocolate is synonymous with the laid back lifestyle of the inhabitants.
When Poyet got the idea to make chocolates associated with Charlie Chaplin, a star of the silent film era who had made his home in Vevey, he collaborated with the son of the actor on a design that was remarkably simple.
They decided to use the image of the shoe Chaplin cooks and eats for dinner in the film Gold Rush, which satirised the plight of the prospectors in the Sierra Nevada in the 1840s.
Poyet’s Charlie Pralines quietly assumed an identity of their own, attracting countless visitors to his confiserie on Rue du Théâtre. Gradually, over a period of 16 years, Poyet realised that he needed to rebrand the chocolates to take them out into the world. His customers had already named them Chaplin Chocolates and this prompted Poyet to return to Chaplin’s heirs for a new license.
In April this year Poyet was granted the rights to sell his iconic chocolates as Chaplin Pralines and continue to package them in film reel cans.
Now when you go back to watch Gold Rush and gaze on the diminutive actor munching his way through one of his own shoes, look again.
Charlie Chaplin’s shoes are made of chocolate!
And Blaise Poyet is laughing all the way home.
The Poyet Confiserie is featured in Ice Travel and Snow Food: A Culinary Adventure in Western Switzerland.
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