Chocolate for a cause

Published On 12/09/2015

Growing up in a family of creative minds, Chef Phillip Ashley Rix understood the importance of following dreams at a young age. He often found himself caught up in his own world, constantly drawing and daydreaming. the freedom to dream led to greater things than he could have ever imagined.

Phillip Ashley at Le BonheurAfter 10 years in corporate sales, he knew he really wanted to be an entrepreneur, but that he wanted to create something unique and outrageous to offer the world.

That’s when chocolate found him. At the time, there were no real options for someone who wanted to learn the art of chocolate — which can be a temperamental ingredient. With determination, passion, a few books and an airbrush painter he found on eBay, Phillip Ashley set out to conquer the world of chocolate.

Ten years later, Phillip Ashley, who is often compared to the great fictional character, Willy Wonka, is an accomplished chocolatier. He’s known throughout culinary circles across the country for the designer chocolate he and his team of artists create from his shop in the Cooper-Young district in the heart of Memphis.

He has made a name for himself by creating more than just chocolate candy. His edible art includes everything from sweet treats to decadent, savory flavors, like the Mama Jean – a sweet potato infused nod to his grandmother – and his personal favorite, French bleu cheese.

Of all his accolades and awards, he’s most proud of using his platform to help others and give back to the community. A Memphis native, he’s always known about Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and?its impact on countless families. After being invited to a Le Bonheur 101 class by a customer, he was blown away by everything he learned. The chef knew he wanted to do something to help such a vital landmark in his own backyard.

The result: The Heart of Le Bonheur, an orange marmalade and tarragon acacia honey concoction featuring an artfully airbrushed Le Bonheur heart on each piece. Each confection is delicately wrapped in a gift box aimed at raising awareness and funds for the Le Bonheur Heart Institute, which provides care for patients with congenital heart defects from before birth to adulthood.

Chef Phillip Ashley Rix is a Memphis treasure, and he says he’s determined to give back while making a name for himself, especially to “places like Le Bonheur that make the city great.”

Give the gift of chocolates

The special Heart of Le Bonheur chocolate was crafted by Chef Phillip Ashley using ingredients with a history of healing. For every box sold, $4 is donated to the Le Bonheur Heart Institute. To order your own box, visit www.phillipashleychocolates.com and click Shop. Heart of Le Bonheur chocolates make great holiday gifts!