Chef Erika Dupree Cline is now serving up chocolate, love and happiness at the new Bleu Chocolàt Workshop in Christiansted. A world class pastry chef and chocolatier, Erika uses her well-honed skills to serve joy to everyone who bites into one of her delightful confections. Luckily, she has made St. Croix home and her chocolate workshop will allow you to walk in and immerse your senses in all things chocolate.
Bleu Chocolàt Workshop
If you’ve had the chance to stop at one of Chef Erika’s pop-up shops you can imagine our excitement at her setting up shop in downtown Christiansted! Bleu Chocolàt Workshop opened July 21, 2023, in the Caravelle Arcade. There you can purchase all sorts of delicious handmade chocolates and pastries, as well as participate in unique food experiences. Your mouth will water at the sight of Erika’s beautiful hand painted chocolate bonbons with island-inspired flavors like fresh-cut lemongrass and dark chocolate tamarind. Find your comfort food favorites like brownies, cookies, and delectable chocolate cake layered with chocolate mousse. Or, try her spirited chocolate truffles in flavors like Cruzan Rum and Coke and white chocolate margarita.
Coming soon, you’ll be able to walk in and participate in the ‘bean to bar’ chocolate experience by making your own chocolate bar! You can also look forward to chocolate making classes, chocolate and spirit tastings, wine down with chocolate nights, and so much more. Be sure to check the Bleu Chocolàt Workshop listing for upcoming classes and events.
With a tagline of ‘a day is never good without chocolate’ you can imagine that Chef Erika is passionate about the quality of her chocolate. Focusing on a bean to bar approach, Erika uses locally-sourced cocao beans grown in the rainforest on St. Croix to make small-batch chocolate bars right here on island. She hopes to work with local growers to grow more cocao plants as she strives to make a uniquely Crucian chocolate in the hopes of putting St. Croix on the world chocolate map, along with other Caribbean chocolate destinations like Grenada, St. Lucia and the Dominican Republic. In the meantime, what she can’t get locally-sourced, Erika supplements with high-quality Callebaut chocolate.
About Chef Erika
Chocolate isn’t the only treat you’ll find at Bleu Chocolàt, Erika herself is a friendly, fun, passionate woman who brings happiness to those lucky enough to meet her (or taste her chocolate). Erika grew up cooking with love alongside her family, and spoke fondly about childhood memories of Sunday family dinners that her grandmother spent days preparing. Her love of baking led Erika to begin her very own cookie business at the age of just 8. Then, at 10 years old, she visited Hershey and learned about chocolate making. After her visit to Hershey, a happenstance stop at a small pastry shop in Georgetown taught Erika about small batch chocolate making and the incredible difference it makes in quality and taste…and she was hooked.
Erika attended culinary school and began her career as an assistant pastry chef in Detroit, Michigan under Master Chef Milos, the first ever certified Master Chef in the United States. She took her first executive pastry chef position at the age of just 22 at Pike Street Restaurant in Pontiac, Michigan. From there, Erika progressed in her field becoming a chocolatier and pastry chef working at several high-end properties across the U.S. before becoming the pastry chef for Ponte Vedra Inn & Country Club in Jacksonville, Florida. However, what really kicked off Erika’s recognition as a master chocolatier was her development and opening of the chocolate program for Graycliff Chocolatier at the five-star Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant in Nassau, Bahamas.
Erika has also made numerous television cooking appearances including being one of the original 2010 ‘cheftestants’ on Bravo’s ‘Top Chef Just Desserts,’ and later as a judge for the Food Network’s ‘Rock N Roll Pastry Challenge’. She was also featured in ‘Toques in Black: A Celebration of Black Chefs’, a book which presents 101 Black chefs in story and recipe. Erika was interviewed on ‘Black Desserts’, a Black Food Folks podcast series focusing on the life and work of black pastry chefs in 2021. You can read more about Chef Erika and her culinary journey here!
Is your mouth watering yet? Stop into Bleu Chocolàt Workshop in the Caravelle Arcade in Christiansted and celebrate this new addition to the St. Croix culinary scene. Take it from me, the spirited truffles and the rocky road brownies are to die for. Welcome Chef Erika, we’re so glad to have you and your chocolatier talents here on St. Croix!
-Jennie Ogden, Editor
Bleu Chocolàt Workshop offers 'bean to bar' handmade chocolates, bonbons, pastries and more. World class pastry chef Erika Dupree Cline is serving up chocolate, love and happiness in her new...