The Santa Monica Chocolate Society
Tastings, Discussions & Guests
The Santa Monica Chocolate Society is a club of sorts that celebrates and savors the finest, rarest, most delicious chocolates on Earth.
We gather on the first Thursday of each month to taste regional bean-to-bar chocolates and meet, often with a guest speaker, ranging from cacao farmers to the craft chocolate makers themselves.
Led by The Gourmandise School chocolate expert Ruth Kennison, the group is inspired by her many adventures across the equatorial “chocolate belt” and her work with craft chocolate makers. At each gathering, Ruth shares whatever’s fresh and exciting from her wonder cabinet of carefully curated bars and bonbons.
Vive la Révolution!
A new generation of craft chocolate makers is reinventing the way we produce and eat chocolate. Like beer and coffee, these specialty makers take great care with each step of their process, from who’s growing the beans (and whether farmers are being paid fairly) to subtle nuances of flavor through roasting, fermentation and other techniques. These small-batch artisans aim to bring quality and transparency back to a chocolate industry dominated by giant megabrands that mass-produce confections for consistency of taste and high profit. In the new chocolate revolution, the focus is on fairness, freshness and flavor. No Bonbon Will Be Left Behind!
Register Now for Our Next Event
Around the World with Chocolate
Thursday, July 6th | 7pm-8:30pm
Taste your way around the globe with chocolate expert Ruth Kennison. This evening will feature a sampling of the world’s finest craft chocolates from each of the main cacao growing regions around the Equator. Tastings will feature the best of bean to bar chocolates from (but not limited to): Trinidad, Ecuador, Bolivia, Vietnam, Tanzania and Madagascar.
An Evening of Craft Chocolate with David Menkes of Letterpress
Thursday, August 3rd | 7pm-8:30pm
Meet the founder and chocolate maker of Letterpress Chocolate. David will explain the ins and outs of craft chocolate making, show you which farms he purchases from, how Direct Trade works and how he is able to bring out the best in each bean. You will sample chocolates and inclusion bars from his vast collection.
An Evening with Katy Strouk, Owner and chocolate curator of Monsieur Marcel
Thursday, September 7th | 7pm-8:30pm
The Santa Monica Chocolate Society gathers every month to celebrate and savor the finest, rarest and tastiest chocolate on Earth. Once a month on Thursday evenings, Gourmandise chocolate expert Ruth Kennison opens her wonderous cabinet of carefully curated bean-to-bar chocolates from around the world for thoughtful tastings and discussions. Each class includes craft chocolate tastings, guest chocolate makers, confectioners, cacao bean farmers and flavor hunters. No bonbon will be left behind.