Tell us about yourself: An Indiana native with Macedonian roots, Katrina Markoff went on to study chemistry and psychology at Vanderbilt University, and three days following her graduation, she realized her true passion was cooking and committed to following her heart wherever it led her. She boarded the next plane for Paris to pursue her dream of culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu (L’Ecole de Cuisine et Patisserie), where she garnered the Le Grande Diplome in Cuisine and Patisserie as well as a degree in Oeneology. From Paris she moved to Spain, and apprenticed alongside Ferran and Albert Adria at the famed El Bulli restaurant. Continuing her travels, she began a nine-month sojourn around the world studying food. Markoff perused local street offerings, exploring the open-air spice stalls of Vietnam and the floating markets of Bangkok. Upon her return to the States in 1998, she founded Vosges Haut-Chocolat with the concept of Travel the World through Chocolate - using chocolate as a medium to tell stories of her travels, and the people, artists, movements, religions, music, and culture she encountered along the way.
Tell us about the company:
Fifteen years ago, Vosges Haut-Chocolat began in Founder Katrina Markoff’s Chicago kitchen and has since grown to nine Purple House boutiques in New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills and Las Vegas with a strong presence nationwide in esteemed gourmet and specialty grocers and luxury department stores like Whole Foods, Fresh Market, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and more. As the innovator in the luxury chocolate category, Vosges was first to combine exotic indigenous spices, herbs, flowers, roots, and liqueurs with premium, ethically sourced chocolate. Built on a foundational mission and core values, the company creates a transformational, sensory chocolate experience that nurtures awareness of and appreciation for the world’s diverse cultures. Vosges Haut-Chocolat is a certified organic manufacturing facility that operates on 100% renewable energy. Under its Green Purchasing Oath, the chocolatier selects ingredients with sustainable merit like Rainforest Alliance organic chocolate and uses packaging made of 100% post-consumer recycled material for all its chocolate bars and purple boxes. The company’s latest endeavor is the construction of a Platinum LEED-certified green manufacturing and chocolate lifestyle house in Chicago, another step in expanding its mission of bringing peace to the world through chocolate.
What advice would you give moms about raising healthy eaters?
Start making your own food from the beginning. It is really quite easy and a big cost savings. Your children will love all the fresh veggies and fruits from the start
How do you unwind after a busy day at the office?
A Nature Scavenger walk on our property with my two little boys and dogs. We are in the moment.
What’s your favorite vegetable and your favorite way to cook it?
Nothing compares to a roasted cauliflower with Lemon, Garlic and Parmagianno.
When nobody is watching, what is your favorite treat? CHOCOLATE...
Tell us about your favorite recipe to make for your family? Anything with Lamb. Right now I am into Morrocan Lamb Kepabs with Pine Nuts, Tomato and Eggplant.
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