gourmandise santa Monica chocolate society

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


A Chocolate and Tequila Tasting with Mixologist and Author Matthew Biancaniello

Thursday, October 5th |  7pm-8:30pm

Join Mixologist Matthew Biancaniello and his collection of rare tequilas for a mezcal tasting and pairing with a variety of single origin, craft chocolate bars. This event is strictly 21 and up.

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.

A Chocolate Tasting with Chocolate Maker Nicole Trutanich of Bar au Chocolat

Thursday, November 2nd |  7pm-8:30pm

We celebrate Day of the Dead with mescal infused skull chocolates, Mexican milk chocolate bon bons and a limited edition Day of the Dead chocolate bar by our guest chocolate maker Nicole Trutanich.  We’ll enjoy a tasting of Nicole’s award winning single origin chocolates and learn about her path to becoming a chocolate maker.

Nicole is a boutique chocolate maker who produces small batches of her signature line, Bar au Chocolat at her Manhattan Beach atelier.  She makes two ingredient chocolate with cacao she sources directly from farmers around the world.  You won’t meet another chocolate maker with more passion for her work.

A Taste of the NW Chocolate Festival

Thursday, December 7th |  7pm-8:30pm

The Northwest Chocolate Festival in Seattle is an annual gathering of the world’s top chocolate makers and influencers.  Festival regular Ruth Kennison returns with an armful of Festival stand outs.  Learn what’s new in the craft chocolate scene and taste the best bars the festival has to offer!