Christopher Curtin of Éclat Chocolate

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Courtesy of Éclat Chocolate

When the word "chocolate" is part of someone's official title, you know he has an amazing job. In his deliciously enviable work as Master Chocolatier for Éclat Chocolate, Christopher Curtin has created everything from custom beer-flavored truffles to an 18-tiered wedding cake for the Prince and Princess of Belgium. Here, he chats with us about creative ways to include chocolate in your wedding, the best way to store your treats and what to do if—oops!—you spill any on your white dress. —Kathryn Papanek

Why is chocolate meaningful for special occasions?

Almost everyone loves chocolate. There are few people who don't, so it's something that people can enjoy instantly. And in this economy, people like the affordable luxury. Brides and grooms are rethinking buying little trinkets that guests might just throw away as favors.

What are some fun, unique ways to serve chocolate at a wedding reception?

You can include differently shaped-chocolates...

There's more!

that go along with a theme, such as a beach-themed wedding. Or you can choose special flavors. If the two people getting married have a favorite drink, we can create a wine or beer truffle for them in that flavor. We can also always make different fillings with special significance for the two people getting married. We've even made giant chocolate vases with flowers coming out of them that we have shipped to Europe and Japan.

What goes into a chocolate tasting?

A chocolate tasting is an educational way of explaining how chocolate is made. We usually go to private homes. You can also send away for the whole selection of chocolate and do your own tasting at home. The host or hostess usually cooks some type of dinner, and we do the tasting afterwards. We have also paired the chocolates with local wines. I've never done a chocolate tasting at a bachelorette party, but it sounds like a great idea!

A white wedding dress plus melting chocolate can add up to a messy situation. Any advice on getting out chocolate stains?

Try to stay away from using soap. Just use hot water and get it out as soon as possible! Sparkling water works well too.

What is the best way to store any chocolate that's left over after the wedding day?

Refrigeration is probably the worst thing to do with chocolate besides putting it in the sun. It's usually very moist in refrigeration units, and this can be harmful to the chocolate. The best way to store it is in a cool dry room. With our product, we don't use preservatives so we have a two week shelf life. If you really have to, freezing is another alternative. When you thaw it out, thaw it slowly in an insulation box.

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