West Chester, PA(August 18, 2005) - ICLAT CHOCOLATE - A WORLD OF EXPERIENCE
THAT YOU CAN EAT
WEST CHESTER, PA - American-born Master Chocolatier Chris Curtin, who recently returned from nearly 14 years of refining his craft overseas, has opened Iclat, a sophisticated, yet intimate chocolate boutique, located at 24 South High Street, that offers unequaled, world-class chocolates. Balancing the skill and dexterity of a scientist, with the passion and vision of an artist, Curtin handcrafts delectably decadent chocolates with only the finest ingredients.
As the first American to be awarded the prestigious honor of Konditor (Master Pastry Chef) from Handwerkskammer Zu koln, in Cologne Germany he is one of only a handful of daring chocolatiers in this country to blend modern confectionary techniques with traditional methods to create fine, handmade chocolates. Now settled back in the United States, Curtin is quickly emerging as one of the nation's foremost chocolatiers.
"I am obsessed with obtaining and using only the best chocolate available," Curtin says. "In order to continue to create the best possible product, I've vowed to never use any cost-cutting techniques that would compromise the taste and quality of Iclat chocolates."
Curtin sources his chocolate from Europe's leading manufacturers, and goes so far as to seek out single origin chocolate - raw beans procured from single source cacao plantations in South America and Indonesia. While working with chocolate in its purest form, which he maintains leaves no room for error, Curtin is able to produce a richly unique and deluxe end product.
While Iclat is continuously developing new confections, the current collection includes 12 varieties: Ginger, Lavender, Single-Malt Whisky; Aleppo Chile; 35% Single Origin Chocolate; 73% Ganache; Pave du Toure; Gianduja; Carmel Truffle; Champagne; 54% Dark Ganache; and Vanilla. Iclat's chocolates cost $1.50 per piece, $6.50 for a box of four, $17.50 for a box of 12, and $27 for a box of 20. The chocolates are packaged in handsomely designed chocolate and caramel colored boxes, evocative of the fine confections inside.
In addition to his Iclat collection, Curtin takes great pleasure in designing and creating large-scale artistic designs, often inspired by the seasons, which are constructed completely with chocolate. Some of his recent creations include: a pair of hearts, embedded with 24-karat gold leaf and encased by a larger latticed chocolate heart; an full scale "aquarium" complete with coral, seaweed and schools of fish; and an unconventional diorama, with a two-foot chocolate egg housing bunnies, fish and lightening bolts, heralding the explosive arrival of the Spring. Curtin eagerly offers custom artistic designs for weddings, private parties, corporate events and other festive occasions.
Curtin spent nearly two decades perfecting his craft, working and studying the fine art of chocolate in the world's premier chocolate houses throughout Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, and Japan. Looking to gain hands on experience in Europe, Curtin started at House of le Companion Du Devoir, a prominent tradesmen guild, including patissiers and chocolatiers, in France. He continued honing his skills under the world's great masters including stints at Konditorei Bachman in Switzerland, where he developed a mastery of chocolate and other ingredients, Confiserie Coppeneur in Germany, where he focused on industrial and mass production, and Herman Van Dender in Brussels, which he says served as his finishing school.
At Iclat, Curtin combines his natural talent and years of experience. While many of his chocolates are the result of hours of meticulous handiwork, his "laboratory" is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery that enables him to maintain his own stringent measures. With the floors hermitically sealed and the entrances and exits air-locked, the Iclat laboratory boasts a pristine and sterile environment. With his sophisticated chocolate making machinery, Curtin is capable of mass-producing chocolates for wholesale and private label customers, while abiding by his self-imposed and highly stern quality control standards.
Iclat is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 am to 6 pm; and Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm. Iclat is located at 24 South High Street, West Chester, PA. For more information call (610) 692-5206 or visit www.eclatchocolate.com.
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