Stay home, eat chocolate: Belgian chefs celebrate Easter despite coronavirus


BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Determined chocolatiers and chefs in Belgium have kept producing their Easter delicacies despite the coronavirus lockdown, with specialist chocolate shops remaining open and also doing deliveries.

Belgian-based cake maker and pastry chef Michael Lewis-Anderson made a chocolate scene based on the fable of the tortoise and the hare to remind people to stay at home.

“You shouldn’t be outside running because you have to be protected at this difficult time and the tortoise is actually staying home, which is his shell,” said Lewis-Anderson.

Easter is normally a time for chocolatiers in Belgium to show off the stamp of quality built up over the century since Jean Neuhaus invented the hard-shelled, cream-filled praline in 1912.

While French-Born Belgian chocolatier Jerome Grimonpon initially closed his shop in Brussels when the Belgian lockdown measures were imposed on March 18, he has since reopened and is also making deliveries, with an Easter collection around balloons.

“I didn’t want to play the coronavirus card. I know a few have done so. It is already depressing enough,” he told Reuters.

Belgium has so far suffered 2,523 deaths from the coronavirus and has almost 25,000 confirmed cases.

Reporting by Christian Levaux, writing by Robin Emmott, editing by Alexandra Hudson