Lunar New Year Classes & Recipes
Celebrate the Lunar New Year in style with hands-on cooking classes and workshops focused on Asian cuisine.
May Hennemann was born in Brooklyn, raised in St. Louis and is of Thai/Burmese/Chinese decent. Spending summers with family in Asia, she developed her love of Asian street food. Combined with a love for Julia Childs and curiosity about the culture of food, family and country, she decided to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY six months after graduating from the University of Chicago. This eventually brought her to Los Angeles and a 16 year career in culinary education specializing in everything from classical French technique to Asian dumplings.
Saengthong Douangdara was born in a refugee camp based in Thailand where his parents fled Laos after the Vietnam War. His family settled in Wisconsin. Growing up in the Midwest, he developed his love for Lao cuisine from his mom's home cooked food. He helped his mom in the kitchen while observing her traditional Lao cooking techniques. He began cooking for others when he attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison where people noticed his passion for sharing his culture and history through food. His drive to explore more food adventures brought him to Hawaii where he attended graduate school at UH Hilo, and he gained extensive knowledge and techniques rooted in Hawaii.
With over 10 years of cooking experience, he pursued his passion in teaching people how to cook. While exploring the world, he gained an appreciation and love in specializing in Korean fermentation, Hawaiian food, and Lao food. He has cooked and taught at UCLA, UC Irvine, Whole Foods, and celebrity events. His drive to connect with people through food brought him to Los Angeles where he teaches interactive and fun cooking classes that go into the history, culture, and science of several cuisines around the world.
Everything started with this cookie. It was passed down from a co-worker’s grandmother years ago and made this pastry chef leave her corporate job to pursue selling cookies. Lots of cookies.View Recipe
Join Chef Saengthong for an in-depth exploration of all things fermented! Learn how to start your own Kimchi (and leave with enough to get yourself started at home), make a variety of dishes and pick Chef's brain about the science of it all.
At The Gourmandise School, we focus on the best techniques and use local sustainable ingredients whenever possible. Our produce is sourced twice weekly from the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Our fresh seafood comes from Santa Monica Seafood. We use sustainable poultry such as Mary’s Free Range Chicken, and get our beef from Whole Foods or other sustainable providers.