Much like the House of Creed’s legendary fragrances, Vosges Haut-Chocolat’s intriguing chocolate creations are made with the finest ingredients from around the world, sourced by Founder and Chocolatier Katrina Markoff. On where she draws inspiration, Katrina shared, “I get inspiration from artists, people, places, travels my children - “signs” that occur in my day-to-day life when I’m fully present. Everyday, I try to pay close attention to what I’m feeling because I like to create from a place of falling in love with something beautiful.” In celebration of Valentine’s Day, The House of Creed will be hosting chocolate tasting events (see details below) at the Madison Avenue and Las Vegas boutiques with custom Vosges chocolates inspired by the notes in Aventus and Aventus for Her.
Read on to learn more about Katrina’s creative process and be sure to visit the boutiques to experience them for yourself.
Tell us about how your passion for making chocolates began. What made you want to start your company?
I never loved chocolate as a kid, but I did have a passion for baking. When I was six years old, I had an easy bake oven and I opened my first business selling cakes out of my garage. I got a lot of pleasure out of those experiences. So, in high school, I ran a cake company. I found that creating beautiful food brought a lot of love into my life and that feeling was addicting. So addicting that as I entered college at Vanderbilt, I continued to cook and bake for my entire sorority every Monday evenings.
When developing fragrances, combining the right ingredients to create the perfect scent is very important. What ingredient pairings do you love to use when making unforgettable chocolates?
I have two techniques I like to use when creating interesting pairings. The first is that I approach a marriage of ingredients through contrasting tastes; acidity with sweetness, salty with sour, bitter and umami. This creates a symbiotic relationship which balances the flavors beautifully. The other technique I like to focus on is the aromatics aspect. I love to work with spices, flowers and herbs. So when creating pairings, I try to choose aromatics whose top and low notes complement the base note of the chocolate. For example, raspberry and rose is a classic combination because the rose creates a floral top note and the raspberry creates a grounding base note.
What drew you to this collaboration with the House of Creed?
The House of Creed is one of the oldest and most respected fragrance houses in the world and a company that I have always admired. The scents they create have such a strong point of view which I’m so drawn to. Creed has a history of creating unrivaled fragrances that are rich, clear and balanced, using rare elements from around the world to create unique aromatic profiles. The collaboration seemed like a great fit for Vosges Haut-Chocolat since we work to source superior ingredients from around the world to create interesting sensory experiences and unusual flavor profiles.
What was your creative process for creating chocolates inspired by Aventus and its female counterpart, Aventus for Her?
Can you tell us about the ingredients in each of the chocolates and how they correlate to the notes in the fragrances?First, I wanted to smell the perfume and to see what the callouts were on particular ingredients. Then, I gathered those edible elements and tasted the individual components to see what would blend well with the chocolate. I didn’t want to create an edible version of what you’re smelling, I wanted it to be a compliment to the fragrance. It’s like pairing them to complete each other in the perfect sensory bite. My chocolates are layers of parfum profiles essentially, so for Aventus a top note was pineapple and a base note was vanilla. I know I wanted to infuse Mexican vanilla into a caramel ganache with a slight dusting of pineapple to complete the taste experience. I’m so enchanted by the way that this project came together because I love the idea of a scent blending into a taste and how those things come together.
Do you have any Valentine’s Day rituals/ideas/traditions?
I always write a love letter to myself. I also love roses and I think a lot about that during Valentine’s day, so I like to design a menu around them to celebrate the occasion. My husband has always been a true romantic so every year he surprises me. One year we could not be together because I was in Los Angeles on business and upon entering my room at Shutters on the Beach sweet smell of roses encapsulated me – he had the entire room filled with over 1,000 roses.
Event Details Creed Boutique Madison Avenue 794 Madison Avenue (at 67 th Street) February 10 th & 11 th 10am – 7pm 212-439-7777 Creed Boutique Las Vegas The Forum Shops at Caesars 3500 Las Vegas Blvd. So. February 10 th & 11 th 10am – 12am 702-366-0574