ST CROIX — This new St. Croix establishment welcomes guests with the sweetest saying: “A day is never good without chocolate!” And who can argue with that! Get a heaping dose of chocolate, love, and happiness at the new Bleu Chocolàt Workshop in downtown Christiansted. World-class pastry chef and chocolatier Chef Erika Dupree Cline offers chocolate experiences, truffles, bonbons, and other freshly made sweets in the sweetest corner downtown.
Located in Caravelle Arcade, guests can indulge in a sweet treat from the gorgeous display cases full of truffles and hand-painted bonbons in an assortment of unique island flavors. White chocolate island mango, dark chocolate tamarind, and white chocolate lemongrass are some of the flavors available, along with an assortment of other deliciously sweet offerings like brownies, chocolate-covered Oreos, cinnamon rolls, and decadent chocolate chip cookies. Thanks to Chef Erika’s 30 years of experience crafting some of the world’s most delectable desserts and chocolates, her latest chapter led to this opportunity to share her undeniable love of chocolate with others. A Chicago native, Cline attended culinary school in Detroit, Michigan where she worked under two pastry chefs and one of the first master chefs in the United States, Master Chef Milos Cihelka. Cline was one of the original contestants on Bravo’s Top Chef Just Desserts in 2010. She won three challenges throughout the competition, receiving great praise for her cookies and tequila bombs from Top Chef judges.
Bleu Chocolàt Workshop’s “bean to bar” approach is what makes their chocolate stand out from the rest, thanks to the process of micro-batch chocolate making from raw cacao bean to chocolate bar. Erika uses locally sourced cacao beans grown in St. Croix’s rainforest to produce her signature small-batch chocolate bars. “My goal is to work with local growers to cultivate even more cacao plants to create a uniquely Crucian chocolate in the hopes of putting St. Croix on the world chocolate map,” said Cline. What she is unable to source locally, she supplements with high-quality Callebaut chocolate.
Bleu Chocolàt Workshop hosts a variety of special events and classes each month! Events include chocolate truffle and chocolate bonbon-making classes. Over the holidays, guests participated in their chocolate cocoa bomb and spirits pairing class and the adult gingerbread house chocolate experience. Visitors can also sign up for a chocolate paint-and-sip class or a chocolate truffle-making experience. This year, she is hosting her first “Galentine’s Day” event on Tuesday, February 13th where women can come out to enjoy unlimited wine, charcuterie, dim sum, and of course, chocolate!
Follow your nose to Bleu Chocolàt Workshop at 1104 Strand Street, Suite 7 in Caravelle Arcade in downtown Christiansted. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 5pm. Check out their upcoming events and classes by visiting them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BleuChocolatWorkshop or give them a call at 340.725.8993.
Written by Anquanette Gaspard