Lunar New Year Classes & Recipes

Celebrate the Lunar New Year in style with hands-on cooking classes and workshops focused on Asian cuisine.

Our Instructors

May Hennemann

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.

Saeng Douangdara

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.

Upcoming Classes

Lao Cuisine 101

Join Chef Saengthong for an unparalleled cooking experience from his homeland! Bring friends along for this one - these shared plates are easy to replicate at home.

Feb 24
Saturday at 6:30pm View Menu
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Kimchi & Fermentation Workshop

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.

Apr 7
Saturday at 10:00am View Menu
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Korean BBQ

Book this class with your favorite Korean BBQ fans! Chef May will share her favorite recipes and at-home grilling techniques.

Apr 5
Thursday at 6:30pm View Menu
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COUPLES NIGHT: Chinese Takeout

Can you just imagine what it would be like not to have to wait an hour for Chinese food to get to your door? Forget the sweaty boxes and learn to make these takeout favorites from home from Chef May.

Apr 7
Saturday at 6:30pm View Menu
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Sushi 101

Join Chef May for a delicious introduction to Sushi! You'll learn to make and season rice, pick and cut fish like a pro, master tempura and shape the perfect rolls.

Apr 12
Thursday at 6:30pm View Menu
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COUPLES NIGHT: Thai Street Food

Forget the food truck! Join Chef May for an exciting take on Thai cooking. Come and experience a culinary adventure while learning great techniques and simple recipes to add to your dinner rotation.

Apr 27
Friday at 6:30pm View Menu
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Dinner in Vietnam

Join Chef Saengthong for an in-depth exploration of Vietnamese cuisine! You'll learn how to make the perfect Pho broth, steamed rice cakes and traditional Vietnamese coffee.

May 9
Wednesday at 6:30pm View Menu
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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.