Meeting award winning pastry chef Kriss Harvey in his chocolate kitchen in Los Angeles, I noticed multiple tattoos on each arm. There was the logo of La Maison du Chocolat on one arm and the chemical formula for theobromine, a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant. Each tattoo tells a story about his culinary journey to becoming a talented chocolatier.
Leaving the East Coast in his teens, he trained under some of Europe’s greatest chefs including Oriol Balaguer and Emmanuel Ryon in France. He worked in the kitchen of the Ritz Carlton and the Wynn Las Vegas, before becoming the Executive Pastry Chef at The Bazaar by José Andrés at the SLS Hotel.
Chef Kriss serves as lead chocolatier for andSons Chocolatiers, a high-end artisan chocolate store in Beverly Hills, CA. Owners and brothers Phil & Marc Covitz, second-generation chocolatiers, showcase classic and modern chocolates with traditional and inventive flavor pairings.
The Covitz brothers know a lot about chocolate. While growing up in their mother’s long established Teuscher chocolates of Switzerland store in Beverly Hills, she taught them the fine flavors of different chocolates, respectful and friendly customer service and how to become part of the community.
When the brothers were ready to open their own shop andSons Chocolatiers in 2018, they hired celebrity Nate Berkus & Associates to design their retail store. They found a commercial kitchen for Chef Kriss and his team to carefully craft each piece by hand in limited qualitites. Ingredients are from local farmers markets for sourcing organic, all natural ingredients. Plus Chef Kriss has developed a relationship with specialty providers around the world. He told me he has a contact for almonds from Provence, France and special cacao pods from Venezuela.
Flavors include Madagascar milk chocolate, caramel with Fleur de Sel and Demi Sel Butter from Normandie; Rock Praline filled with Hazelnut Praline and Pop Rocks; Passion Fruit Caramel is a dark milk chocolate filled with Brazilian Passion Fruit, Caramel and Salted Butter; and Yuzu Verbena made with a duo of ganaches, white chocolate, dark milk chocolate, fresh lemon verbena, yuzu and lime.
The packaging is very important, so they hired artists to make a special slide opening box that can be reused later. The boxes don’t have any brown and gold colors, common on other chocolate boxes. Instead bright colors are intergrated into the design. Each box is not only filled with some of the very best chocolate in the world, but the reusable container is a work of art.
This article was featured in JustLuxe on June 22.