A dessert’s name plays an essential role in a customer’s choice.
This handful of words’ impact extends well beyond a restaurant’s dining area, as guests often consult menus online in advance. As the first point of contact and bearer of a hint of emotion and sensation, the product’s name should awaken diners’ senses and spur them on to try it. It’s also vital that it’s clear and readily understandable, as customers want to know what they’re eating. The name should inspire, but it should also tell us about the products used and show off your expertise.

Alongside the chefs at L’École Valrhona, we have used an innovative concept as our basis so that you can make the language of gastronomy your own, both in terms of the name you choose for your desserts and the conversations your waiting staff have at tables. In this booklet, we provide a whole host of tips and tricks for showing off your desserts at their best so that they sell even more easily!

From a straightforward definition to a touch of poetry or something truly unexpected, what name will you select for your dessert?

French gastronomy has long used lyrical flights of fancy and metaphors, however vague they might seem to guests. Nowadays, however, the obverse is on trend: Precision, sobriety and technicality are the order of the day. Names are stripped right back to their most essential form, with the emphasis placed on products and technique. To meet customers’ need for transparency, the menu shows off the provenance and terroir of your products as marks of authenticity and quality. Yet a poetic turn of phrase remains a sign of gourmet sophistication, promising a special sensory experience.

Of course, there’s no magic formula for naming your creations. Your vocabulary, style and tone express the chef’s vision, values and identity, and as such they epitomize the spirit of your restaurant. The possibilities are endless! Be honest, show off your ingredients and keep a little bit of mystery.
Get your guests’ mouths watering – That way, they’ll come back to try the dessert they didn’t get last time!


The name

  • Stimulate guests’ imaginations to awaken their senses and get their mouths watering. 
  • Tell people what they’re going to sample by mentioning key flavors, a terroir and so on. 
  • Show off expertise, It might come in the form of a texture, a preparation method or unexpected combinations, for instance.

Experiment with gourmet mind-mapping

Steps to follow

  1. Write down the product’s characteristics.
  2. Emphasize the ones you think are essential to your creation.
  3. Write down all the words and metaphors that these essential elements evoke for you.
  4. With this as your basis, you can think up names by bouncing words off your ideas.
  5. Organize, sort, select!


Top tips and good ideas

  • Use metaphor just once.
  • Use plays on words to make an impact.
  • Add a twist on a classic name to highlight your originality.
  • Inspire guests using the kind of ambiance found in famous destinations.
  • Make an ingredient with very specific origins your star product to add some prestige.
  • If you use an abstract noun for the name, describe it using clear expressions.
  • Simplify! Customers might find too many explanations overwhelming.
  • Avoid technical terminology that will go over the general public’s heads.
  • Too much fancy language might come across as pretentious.


The 4 essentials to a gourmet conversation

Senses : Find just the right words to express your flavors, sensations and scents. Make sure you’re accurate and precise – it’s vital you don’t forget this part of your narrative.

Your selected products : Talk about the ingredients that make the dessert special. Where do they come from? Emphasize freshness and origins.

Expertise : How’s the dessert prepared? Which little detail will show off the chef’s expert skill or help diners to imagine a texture? Be Careful not to get too technical!

The anecdote : There’s always a little story hiding behind a creation, giving it personality and identity. When you tell it to your guests, it helps to build your relationship with them and reinforces your emotional message.

Professionals, find more step-by-step recipes on the online Essentials

Discover the Online Essentials