Clémence, a great lover of sweets, was born in Paris. A frequent patron of pastry shops, she quickly developed a palate for all things flaky, buttery, sweet and chocolatey. At eight, Clémence moved with her family to Washington, DC, where she spent year perfecting her croquembouche and chocolate chip cookies. Her summers were spent training for dishwashing olympics in her grandparent’s Auberge in the Luberon region of France, and at age 11, she made a cake that made its way onto the dessert table.
After years of baking, Clémence took a break and went off to Syracuse to study film and anthropology. She moved to L.A., worked at Fox and met the most delicious friends who encouraged her to start a dessert company (typing was clearly not a skill honed in the kitchen). Gourmandise was born out of a kitchen in Venice, and The Gourmandise School grew out of a passion for teaching the company’s favorite recipes. 6 years and many satellite kitchen classrooms later, Clémence met Hadley in one of her classes. In 2011, the two opened The Gourmandise School in Santa Monica, CA.
Clémence lives in a delicious house with her husband Satie and children Malcolm, Olivia and Xavier. Clémence is also a food writer, Master Food Preserver, recipe developer and food consultant. And chocolate lover.
Owner of Your Plate or Mine, Inc., and Delectables by Donna
Certified Personal Chef Donna Barrow been delighting friends and family with mouthwatering dishes for years. After spending over 20 years in the field of education, she took her cooking to other kitchens in 2009 with her company, Your Plate or Mine, to prepare dinners and restaurant-inspired cuisine for individuals, families and small groups.
Inspired by her family, she has cooked not only traditional and gourmet fare but yummy alternatives for those with special dietary needs. A “So-Cal Gal” with Louisiana and Mississippi roots, she has refined her culinary crafts into personalized versions of her California Cuisine. While she prepares modern classics like Red Wine-Coffee Braised Beef Short Ribs with Maple Sweet Potatoes, her clients relish her California Jambalaya -vegetarian style, a Cajun-spiced rice dish loaded with zucchini, artichokes, mushrooms and green chilies and Black Lentil Enchilada Stack with Cashew Crema. Chef Donna also has a retail line of gluten-free and grain-free treats.
Staying connected with her background as an educator, she loves to teach children and adults how to cook. She has a ball leading classes at local recreational cooking schools as well as providing in-home, personalize cooking lessons. Many novice cooks, aspiring chefs and foodies are benefiting from the culinary skills they learned in the comfort of their own kitchens.
Her culinary training includes completion of the professional program at the Culinary Classroom (West LA); as well as graduating from the Culinary Business Academy. She is member of the United States Personal Chef Association (USPCA) and president of the local chapter.
Gill Boyd has been in the food and hospitality business for thirty two years. He began working in hotels as dishwasher and line cook in suburban Washington D.C. After High school he attended Johnson and Wales University receiving an Associates of Science in Culinary Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Food Service Management.
He attended Cordon Bleu Paris and completed an externship in England. He worked in New York City in small restaurants and catering operations. Gill has taught at Le Cordon Bleu Los Angeles for nine and half years during that time he was the Head Chef of the Farmers Kitchen in Hollywood. Recently he completed a Master Degree in Business Administration and Certificate in Gastronomy; he is a Certified Executive Chef and Certified Culinary Administrator.
Gill is the chef owner of Gills Meals which sells prepackaged healthy seasonal food at three farmers markets. He does cooking demonstrations emphasizing simple recipes that are seasonal with a minimal amount of ingredients.
LA-based Celebrity Chef Gino is a native of Parma, a city known as the true culinary breadbasket of Italy .
A dynamic TV personality and an exuberant MC, Chef Gino has been using his contagious energy to raise American Families' Food IQ for the last 18 years.
Chef Gino is currently working on the second season of the ground breaking reality series on A&E "Born This Way".
He's the host of AOL.COM's Kitchen Kids, a regular guest on NBC.com's Garden Party, the spokesperson for the Got Milk? campaign. He blogs about food for the Huffington Post, has worked with Food personalities like Rachael Ray and Jamie Oliver and participated in Michelle Obama's campaign "Chefs Move to School".
He has hosted Gino's Kitchen for the Disney Channel and starred in the Italian prime time cooking show "La prova del cuoco".
Stefano De Lorenzo
Stefano De Lorenzo grew up in Cortina d'Ampezzo, the famous "Queen" of the Dolomites and the favorite hot spot for the mountain's 'Dolce Vita', situated near Italy's northern border with Austria. It was in his hometown where he began his restaurant career, starting at Ristorante Il Meloncino at Lago Ghedina. De Lorenzo visited Los Angeles in 1995 and he was instantly captivated by the splendor of Southern California. He hasn't left since and worked his way around various restaurants throughout the city.
In spring 2004 Stefano De Lorenzo opened his own little place at 5 Dudley Ave., in Venice Beach, just few steps away for the ocean. Shortly after, "Piccolo Ristorante" became a smashing success and the line at the door got longer and longer that convinced Stefano to expand to a new location not far away in Santa Monica, "La Botte".
For the past nine years Stefano worked his magic at La Botte where he was also rewarded a Michelin star in 2008 and 2009.
Jess Hilton is a Culinary Instructor who has worked extensively as a personal chef and teacher. In addition to her culinary background, Jess holds credentials in Nutrition as an Educator and Consultant from Bauman College in Berkeley, California as well as being a certified Holistic Health Coach. She is a fitness enthusiast, distance runner, and amateur gardener. Her love of food and her nutrition background combined with the amazing Southern California produce year-round inspire her to create delicious dishes that are good for you too. She is an advocate of eating a seasonal, local, plant based diet and believes you can never eat too many vegetables!
He was the kid who ran home from school to whip up his own after school snack, to make tomato soup from scratch or homebaked bread for his grilled cheese. Summers? In the garden growing salad and tomatoes in the rich black loam of his native Minnesota. After heading to college and on to building his own family his interest in the foods of the home developed as he was surrounded by great family cooks from the Caribbean, American SouthWest, Mexico, and the America South.
With a deep love of the foods of America, he enjoys culinary trips to the Southwest and South to learn about the culinary traditions in our own country. After more than a decade in the corporate world, Chef John returned to his great passion of food finding a position with a well known Culver City Restaurant Supply House, the perfect venue to develop and share his love of food. By repurposing an underused showcase kitchen he invited local chefs, cookbook authors and culinary instructors to use the space to share and teach. The idea was a hit giving Chef John the opportunity to hone his skills with chefs including Roy Choi (Kogi BBQ, A-Frame), Jason Neroni (Superba Snack Bar), Ray Garcia (Fig), Josiah Citrin (Melisse), the founders of Tacos Puntas Cabras, Farmer Alex Weiser of Weiser Family Farms, and cookbook authors Jacquay Pfieiffer (the Kings of Pastry) and Martha Rose Shulman (The Art of Vegetarian Cooking and NY Times Health Editor), Kevin West of Saving the Seasons and the Grand Dame of Southern Cooking Nathalie DuPree.
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.
Pastry Chef Roxana Jullapat, a Los Angeles native of Costa Rican and Thai descent, pursued a degree in journalism before turning to cooking. While taking a break after graduating from college, Roxana found herself baking a tarte tatin in the tiny kitchen of a local bistro. Her fate was sealed. Over the next ten years she held tenures at highly acclaimed American restaurants including Campanile, Bastide, Lucques, AOC and Clarklewis. In 2011, she opened Cooks County in the heart of Los Angeles, where she’s also the head baker. Fueled by the yearlong availability of outstanding fruits and vegetables of California, Roxana’s strongest suit is in working with seasonal produce and heirloom grains. Her menus are known as perhaps one of –if not the most- farmers’ market driven in town. Roxana is also the founder of “Bakers Will Bake” – a group of local bakers who raise funds for garden-based education programs in the Los Angeles area.
Ruth Kennison studied the art of being a chocolatier at The French Pastry School, the Callebaut Chocolate Academy, as well under M.O.F. Stephane Treand. Her infatuation with chocolate began with her first job in high school at a prominent sweets shop in Boston, where she grew up. Since then, Ruth has followed her dessert passions around the world – taste-tasting vanilla beans in Tahiti, selling homemade madeleines in Sydney, honing her chocolate skills in Asia alongside a former pastry chef from Spain’s El Bulli Restaurant and with chocolate greats in Paris.
Most recently, Ruth has been traveling around the “chocolate belt” of the equator learning as much as she can about where our beautiful chocolate comes from. Ruth has a passion for educating both children and adults about every aspect of the cocoa bean. Ruth launched her own chocolate company and website called Bonaparte Chocolate and she insists that all her new concoctions be tested by her husband, David, and son, Sebastian. View her website at www.thechocolate-project.com
Journalist and chef, Kaumudi Marathé was born in India but raised on three continents. This led to a love of international flavors as well as a need to explore her own heritage through food. She shares her love of Indian cuisine through Un-Curry, her Los Angeles cooking school & catering company. She also writes cookbooks and reports on food for magazines like Saveur. View her website at www.un-curry.com.
Danielle Raymond's affinity for good food started at a young age, gardening with her mom and experimenting with fresh ingredients. Danielle went on to become an attorney, but found herself most happy when throwing dinner parties and teaching friends how to cook. She decided to follow her passion for food and leave her law career to attend culinary school. She began her cooking endeavors in the television world, working her way up to Culinary Producer on cooking shows. While working on the television show Man vs. Child, Danielle found a newfound passion for teaching kids. Danielle now works as a culinary instructor, specializing in taking the fear out of cooking and helping kids and adults find their inner chef. She loves to cook with local, seasonal, healthy ingredients and create delicious food everyone in the family will love.
Sonoko Sakai was born in New York, and raised in many places - Tokyo, Kamakura, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Mexico City. Sonoko is a food writer, author, Japanese cooking teacher, and noodle maker based in Los Angeles. She has also been working on a project to revive heirloom grains in the Southern California region with a seed grant from Anson Mills. All these activities fall under her project – Common Grains, which aims to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for food and culture. Within this mission, Sonoko advocates a sustainable and healthy lifestyle with grains and vegetables at the heart of a meal.
Sonoko’s first cookbook, The Poetical Pursuit of Food: Japanese Recipes for American Cooks was published by Clarkson Potter in 1986; her new cookbook RICECRAFT will be published by Chronicle Books in the Fall of 2016.
Sonoko has contributed articles to the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Saveur, and Zester Daily. She has made appearances on both local and national television cooking programs and interviewed on radio programs, including KCRW’s Good Food and NPRs’ The World. She has taught cooking classes all over the United States, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong. She lives with her husband, dog and three cats in Los Angeles and Tehachapi. Visit her website at www.commongrains.com
Carol Cotner Thompson
Carol has been cooking professionally for over thirty years. Since graduating from the California Culinary Academy’s professional cooking and pastry programs in 1985, she has cooked in many notable restaurants and developed a substantial resumé as a pastry chef, private chef, consultant, food stylist, caterer, blogger, on-camera chef, recipe developer and marketing consultant for print and on-camera productions. For the past twenty-four years, she has taught at the Epicurean School, L’Academie de Cuisine, the New School of Cooking and The Gourmandise School. Carol’s love of travel takes her once a year, as guest chef, to Raison d’art Retreats (raisondartretreats.com) in Catalonia, Spain. In addition, she co-owns californiaculinaryretreats.com. Carol currently teaches private cooking classes and caters custom designed events and dinner parties. Carolcotnerthompson.com
Christianne Winthrop's culinary career began in early 2009, when she left her job in commercial real estate to focus on food. Since then, she has launched her own boutique food services company, specializing in modern American cuisine with a healthy twist. Services include recipe testing and development, small event catering and cooking classes both in-home and at several locations throughout LA and Orange County.
When Christianne isn't teaching or catering, she is a freelance food writer and recipe developer with credits in The Los Angeles Times, Disney.com’s “Magic of Healthy Living,” BrainWorld magazine, SeriousEats.com and CBS Local's "Best of LA" website. As well as graduating with highest honors from Le Cordon Bleu’s Hollywood culinary program, Christianne holds a BA in English from UC Davis and studied playwriting at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She currently lives in Long Beach with her husband Bob. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.