The 'Real-Life Willy Wonka's' Most Ambitious Chocolate Flavors - Exclusive

One look at the offerings of Phillip Ashley Chocolates, and you'll immediately realize that chocolatier Phillip Ashley Rix isn't just selling your run-of-the-mill chocolate turtles and chocolate-covered cherries. These are luxury, designer chocolates with gorgeous, artistic exteriors and interiors that reveal Willy Wonka-esque flavor combinations. They've also earned Rix a spot as a chocolatier to such clients as Disney and The Grammys. Even the basic Phillip Ashley Chocolates six-piece signature box comes with a few surprises, like the Bangkok-inspired Thai curry cashew milk chocolate, or the French Bleu Cheese chocolate, made with white chocolate and fresh cow's milk bleu cheese (it's the brand's most-requested chocolate, by the way).

But even with such inventive flavor profiles, Rix still goes further, pushing the envelope of what chocolate can be. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, he told us about his most unusual and unique chocolate concoctions, as well as his favorites that he's made and where he finds his inspiration.

Endless inspiration

According to Phillip Ashley Rix, one of the most unique chocolate collections he's created for Phillip Ashley Chocolates thus far has been his soul food chocolate collection. "You've got fried chicken in there. You've got bacon [and] macaroni and cheese. You've got collard greens and rum cake and red Kool-Aid. They all taste really good, and they taste like the things that we say they taste like. The fried chicken chocolate tastes like fried chicken, but it's chocolate, too," he said.

His favorite chocolate creations, though, aren't always favorites because of the end resulting flavor, but instead because of the creative process. He explained, "I enjoy developing chocolates for other brands and people. What does their brand taste like? That's usually the question I start with. We're working with a luxury hotel right now, developing flavors based on the region it's based in. For instance, [there's our partnership with] Cadillac. I was like, 'How do you turn a luxury automotive maker into a chocolate flavor?' Or what does Nike taste like? That's what I get the bigger kick out of, translating things into food."

Of course, he makes chocolates based on other themes, too. "I'm also big into film and TV. I always wanted to do something inspired by Spike Lee's movies or roughly something inspired by 'Black Panther.' There's endless inspiration out there," he added.

Check out all of Phillip Ashley Chocolates' currently available creations at