This Chocolatier Created a Chocolate Flavor for Every State
Phillip Ashley Rix, a.k.a. the "Real-Life Willy Wonka," has created his magnum opus chocolate collection: Taste of America.
Phillip Ashley Rix is living out a literal dream he had many years ago. It started with a visit to a Godiva chocolate shop with his mom, and then Willy Wonka showed up. It was a weird dream. "When I woke up, I knew that I would make chocolate for the rest of my life," Rix says.
And not just any chocolate. Rix, who runs Phillip Ashley Chocolates and has been called the "Real-Life Willy Wonka," is like a mad scientist, concocting one-of-a-kind creations made from the finest ingredients. "It's important to me to have a vast knowledge about my chocolates," says the self-taught chocolatier with a chemistry degree. "I spend a lot of time studying herbs, spices, proteins, beer, and wine."
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This July, Rix will start shipping what he describes as his magnum opus: Taste of America. "I've always wondered what America would taste like if it were a box of chocolate," he says. "So, I decided to create my vision for it. Each piece represents a state and has its own flavor: Sea Salt Kettle Chips and Pretzels (PA), Peaches & Cream (GA), CBD (CO), Old Bay (MD), PB&J (VA), Sweet Corn Basil (IA), and Bananas Foster (LA), to name a few. There's even a "Scrapple" praline for Delaware made of pecan meal, applewood smoked bacon, and caramel. The 50-piece red- and white-striped limited-edition box (now available for pre-order) resembles the American flag, and the inside flap features a gold inscription of the preamble of the U.S. Constitution.
"At the end of the day, we may look different, but we are all human beings trying to achieve our respective goals," Rix says with a laugh, "and we're all in this box of chocolates together."
As for his past projects, the Phillip Ashley "Savoy," a blue cheese bon bon, recently won the 2021 Good Food Award and is now his most requested flavor. Rix also created the 24-piece Phillip Ashley X Uncle Nearest collection in collaboration with Black-owned Uncle Nearest Premium Aged Whiskey. His Taste of Memphis collection tells the story of Rix's birthplace in 12 unique flavors, such as Sweet Tea Caramel Vodka Lemonade, Peanut Butter Bourbon, and BBQ Chocolate.
The busy chef has also made tens of thousands of pieces for Hollywood elite, who have enjoyed his chocolates at the Emmys, Grammys, and Oscars. Last year, Oprah Winfrey selected his Perfect Turtle as one of her "Favorite Things."
Pre-order the Taste of America box here, and use the code FOODANDWINE for 10% off and free shipping during the pre-order period.