published Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Chocolatier, in love for product, tolerates paperwork

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    Chattanooga Times Free Press file photo Wendy Buckner, owner of The Hot Chocolatier on Cherokee Boulevard, prepares assorted truffles for a client

* Name: Wendy Buckner

* Position: Owner, chocolatier

* Location: The Hot Chocolatier

* First job: Working at a movie theater concession stand

* Best part of the job: "I could make chocolate candies all day. I'm standing here dipping truffles, and I could do it all day. I just love it. I'm very detail oriented, so I love decorating each little piece. I find it very therapeutic to be able to work on each piece at a time. Chocolate is fascinating. There are so many things you can do with it. My day is always different, because I'm making so many different things using the same ingredient. I love being in the kitchen."

* Least favorite part of the job: "Taxes. The business side. I love being in the kitchen, but the headaches of having to make everything, to sell it and having to do the paperwork is the least fun part. I don't have a least favorite part in the kitchen. I love everything about it. I don't even mind doing dishes."

* What she's learned: "One of the most important qualities you have to have as a chocolatier is patience. You have to be patient. Chocolate has a mind of its own. It can be ready to work with in one minute and then fall out of temper in the next. You can ruin a whole batch of something if you don't know what you're doing. (My job has) helped me in that aspect a lot."

* How to make a career of it: Chocolate, Buckner said, is a "tough medium" to learn. She attended The French Pastry School in Chicago, but there are schools just for chocolate. Apprenticing, she said, is another way to learn.

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about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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