I put the chocolate bar down on the counter of this fancy, French, gourmet deli. The jovial (he isn't French) cashier points at the long, completely foreign (to anyone but an Australian) word on the wrapper and says, "If you can say that four times in a row really quickly, I'll give you two dollars off."
"Woolloomooloo, Woolloomooloo,Woolloomooloo, Woolloomooloo," I say with lightening speed and without batting a lash.
He stares at me dumbfounded and coolly I say, "It's the name of an inner-city, Sydney suburb in Australia. It's right down by the Opera House on the harbor. I actually used to live there." He carries on his bewildered stare and I continue, "The chocolatier who makes this fabulous chocolate traveled the world for years learning about exotic herbs, spices and produce in her bid to bring the flavors of the world to her chocolate recipes. She learned about Aboriginal bush herbs while in Australia."
You might wonder how I know all this. I know all this because 32 year old entrepreneur and chocolatier extraordinaire Katrina Markoff, stole my life and I'm insanely jealous. I am also a devotee.
Katrina Markoff studied classical cooking at the Cordon Bleu in France and then apprenticed under acclaimed Spanish chef Ferran Adria. After traveling the world researching the exotic foodstuffs that would provide inspiration for her exquisite and unusual chocolate recipes, she returned to her native Chicago and with a loan backed by the Small Business Administration, she opened her first retail store in 1998. From supplying Nieman Marcus with her wicked delights - made with her own two little hands - directly from a small rented kitchen, Katrina has built a business with 4.5 million in annual sales and 30 employees on payroll. Naturally, she can't personally make all the chocolates by her own hand anymore. She does however create every single recipe and maintains quality control over all her products.
'Vosges' chocolate boutiques can be found in Chicago - Downtown, New York - Soho and Las Vegas - Caesars' Palace. Retailers carrying her products ar Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Zingermans and Selfridges. You can also buy bars at the Market Gourmet, 1800 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice. But her chocolates are shipped fresh and cold-packed if you order on-line at www.vosgeschocolates.com . So being Mother's Day this Sunday, don't forget to pick some up for your Mother.
Little did that cashier know, if only he'd pointed at the brand name of the chocolate, 'Vosges' as opposed to the flavor name,'Woolloomooloo' he would have saved himself some money. Not only can I not say that word, I can't stand it. Funny how that happens with words for no apparent reason. And poor 'Vosges' it's simply an innocent mountain range in France that never did anything to me.
WORLD - CULTURE
Copyright © 2010 V
Haut-Chocolat for Maman
Copyright © 2010 V
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