Robin Autorino


Robin Chocolates

Robin Chocolates came about almost by accident. While in the US Navy, Robin used pretzel dipping in chocolate to keep her son busy while she could cook a holiday meal for other single moms and dads in the military. This became a tradition and the types of confections grew. Years later, a financially rewarding career in the IT world, left a void, a void for passion. Robin landed at a local culinary school where she studied classic French cooking techniques using locally produced, seasonally available ingredients. Her last month of culinary coursework was spent in Avignon, France where she had the honor of studying with master chefs from Michelin starred restaurants and working at a local pâtisserie. Robin’s experience at the pâtisserie inspired her to become a pastry chef. Over the next several years Robin worked to develop her craft in the pastry kitchens of a number of landmark restaurants. Among these are Flagstaff House and Dushanbe Tea House in Boulder as well as The Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. During this time she also interned at Tru in Chicago.

In her spare time, Robin began to make molded chocolates for friends and family, experimenting with flavors and artistry. Just before Valentine’s Day in 2008, a local florist needed chocolates and asked Robin to provide them. She jumped at the opportunity to transform from chocolate enthusiast to chocolate entrepreneur. And thus, Robin Chocolates was born.

Carlo Figarella


Art Institute of Washington

Chef Carlo Figarella graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and honed his cake decorating techniques while working at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware. He then moved on to become the Assistant Pastry Chef at the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner, Virginia for three years. In 2008, Chef Figarella began to pursue a career in education working at the Art Institute of Washington. At the Art Institute of Washington he has discovered a passion for guiding the future chefs of tomorrow through the wonderful world of Baking and Pastry.

Melissa Coppel

Melissa Coppel

Co-Owner / Chef Chocolatier

Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolates, Las Vegas

After graduating high school Chef Melissa left her home country of Colombia to study pastry in Argentina. Then she went to Chicago to further her studies at The French Pastry school. Soon after, she moved to Las Vegas to work at Joel Robuchon . were she run the pastry kitchen of L’atelier de Joel Robuchon, under the guidance of acclaimed Executive Pastry Chef Kamel Guechida.

When the opportunity arose to work with MOF Chocolatier finalist Jean-Marie Auboine she moved to the Bellagio Casino
After working together Chef Melissa and Chef Jean-Marie decided to open Jean-Marie Auboine Chocolates in Las Vegas, NV

Chef Melissa took second place in last years “Chocolatier of the year” and also was the winner of the People’s choice award.

Throughout her career Chef Melissa has known the importance of continuously expanding her knowledge of the world of pastries and chocolates. She has actively sought out further training and inspiration by taking classes with the best pastry chefs in the world, including Ramon Morato MMAPE, Pierre Herme, Paco Torreblanca MMAPE, Olivier Bajard MOF, Frank Kestner MOF, Jordi Butron, Oriol Balaguer, just to name a few… Most recently she has decided to challenge herself by starting to participate in professional pastry competitions. Chef Melissa looks forward to a long and productive career in which she can share her love of pastry with the world.

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Robyn Dochterman

Robyn Dochterman


St. Croix Chocolate Company

Robyn Dochterman is the owner and head chocolatier of St. Croix Chocolate Company in Minnesota.

After a successful career in journalism, Robyn learned fine chocolate techniques from internationally acclaimed chefs at the French Pastry School in Chicago, the Chocolate Academy in Chicago, and the San Francisco Baking Institute in California. She opened her own shop in 2010 and is well known in the Twin Cities area, having won many local awards.

Robyn’s commitment to local and seasonal ingredients comes naturally. She often forages edible flowers and wild fruits she learned about a child wandering the Iowa countryside. In addition to sourcing local and organic cream and butter, she uses honey from her own backyard apiary.