Gold Records and Gold Chocolates
Chef Phillip Ashley grew up in Memphis, Tenn., the birthplace of rock and roll. It’s a city that has produced music icons such as Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Isaac Hayes.
With that kind of influence in his hometown, you can imagine Ashley’s excitement when he found out he would be attending the 58th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
“I have to travel all the way to L.A. to meet Justin Timberlake,” said Ashley.
Pop sensation Justin Timberlake also calls Memphis home. Coincidentally, that’s who Ashley said he would most like to run into at the Grammys. Beyoncé was second on his list.
He might have the chance to rub elbows with Timberlake, Beyoncé, and many other celebrity musicians at The Staples Center, where he will preside as the Official Chocolatier of the Grammy Awards Gift Lounge.
For the special occasion, Ashley designed a 23-Karat Gold Salted Caramel Pecan Praline. This chocolate confection is made of couverture derived from the most rare purple bean cacao, roasted Mississippi Delta pecans and Fleur de Sel. Each piece is laced with 23-karat gold leaf, and the chocolate shell is finished with 23-karat gold dust.
“I wanted to do something that represented the South, and that’s why we used pralines and pecans,” said Ashley. “I also wanted the chocolate to be eye catching and flashy to reflect the nature of the Grammys, so we incorporated the gold element.”
Weighing 25 grams, each piece is the equivalent of three chocolates. The Golden Praline retails for $79, making it one of the most expensive chocolates on the market.
Ashley made 6,000 pieces for the show, which were shipped via FedExfrom his kitchen in Memphis to Los Angeles. FedEx has shipped Ashley’s chocolate treats to his customers all over the world, including Portugal, Australia and the United Kingdom.
“I always tell people the chocolates will arrive as beautiful as they left,” Ashley said.
As for the awards show, Ashley picked Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” as his favorite for album of the year.
*Guitar pictured in photos is by LsL Instruments courtesy of Martin Music in Memphis, Tenn.
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