LINDT & SPRÜNGLI
Interview with Roger Federer and Lindt Maître Chocolatier Urs Liechti
Roger Federer has been a Lindt brand ambassador for a year. On 16 November 2010 he and Maître
Chocolatier Urs Liechti will press the button to start the Lindt Christmas Lighting Event in Kilchberg
near Zurich (Switzerland). In an interview, they both talk about their joint role as ambassadors for the
premium chocolate and how much they are looking forward to participating in the Christmas Lighting
Roger Federer, you have now been a Lindt brand ambassador for a year. In commercials, we see you
pass through security screening at the airport with a bag full of Lindor truffles. Do you always take
chocolate with you on your travels?
Roger Federer: Of course! I don’t think you can ever get enough chocolate. Even when I was a small boy I
loved Lindt Chocolate. Today I find it at every airport around the world. It’s like a little piece of home for me. And
everybody loves Swiss chocolate - which makes a Swiss guy like me really proud of course. It’s a great honour
for me to be a Lindt brand ambassador and to some extent it’s also a childhood dream come true.
Urs Liechti, as Maître Chocolatier and Head of Product Development at Lindt & Sprüngli, you work with
chocolate every day. What do you find fascinating about it?
Urs Liechti: Chocolate is incredibly versatile. I can only agree with Roger: you can’t get enough of it. As a
Maître Chocolatier, each and every day it’s part of my job to eat a lot of chocolate, tasting, improving and
enhancing the recipes. The taste of chocolate is different every time. If you take the time to close your eyes,
smell it, let it melt in little pieces on your tongue and identify the different flavours, you’ll find it’s quite an
experience every time.
Beaming children’s faces will be watching the two of you when you join Ernst Tanner, Chairman and
CEO of Lindt & Sprüngli, to switch on the vast light projection on 16 November.
Roger Federer: I can hardly wait. In my view chocolate and Christmas simply belong together. But the Lindt
Christmas Lighting Event is not just great for children, but for the whole family. It’s worth coming as the
atmosphere will be amazing and there will be treats for you to try everywhere...
Urs Liechti: And of course people will be given an exclusive insight into the world of chocolate. At the Lindt
Maîtres Chocolatiers’ Christmas Houses for example, you can watch us creating new masterpieces. And
beaming children are the best compliment we Maîtres Chocolatiers could be paid.
How do you reconcile your role as chocolate ambassador with sport?
Roger Federer: Chocolate and tennis are an excellent combination. You could say they are a perfect match. As
long as you don’t go overboard, of course. I have loved chocolate since I was very young and it is still
something I enjoy.
Do you have a favourite type of chocolate?
Roger Federer: As a child I loved white chocolate above all. Today I prefer hazelnut. One of my absolute
favourites is currently “Les Grandes” milk chocolate with its huge roasted hazelnuts.
Urs Liechti: Which chocolate I prefer depends on my mood. Basically, I love all types of chocolate – each sort
has its own character. And, after all, it’s part of my job to make chocolate a treat that never fails to surprise.
Every child dreams of spending a night in a chocolate factory. Urs Liechti, was that one of your
childhood dreams too?
Urs Liechti: Of course – even if I couldn't have guessed at the time how demanding chocolate making is. As a
child I always had a sweet tooth and loved any type of confectionery. I remember sometimes stealing into the
kitchen to find something sweet to eat. It wasn’t until my training as a confectioner that I was aware of all the
subtle tastes chocolate offered. I was so enthusiastic that I spent weekends at home coming up with my own
LINDT & SPRÜNGLI
How do you become a Lindt Maître Chocolatier?
Urs Liechti: Above all you need years of experience. After my training in Bern, I also worked in Canada and
Australia before I returned to Switzerland. In Switzerland I carried out more training at a confectionery school to
boost my expertise and fulfil my dream of having my own confectioner's. After over ten years as a confectioner,
I was asked by Lindt & Sprüngli if I wanted to become Head of Product Development - and of course I said yes.
Today I’m a Lindt Maître Chocolatier and it is the job I have always dreamed of. Every day is a huge challenge,
but one of the most enjoyable possible.