Discovering the world of chocolate at The Gourmandise School

The “hub” for chocolate on the Westside of LA!

Discovering the world of chocolate at
The Gourmandise School

The “hub” for chocolate on LA’s Westside!

Indulge your chocolate cravings and elevate your skills with our array of specialized chocolate classes. Whether you’re eager to learn the delicate art of chocolate tempering, embark on the journey of crafting your own artisanal chocolate from bean to bar, or create homemade bonbons that rival those of a chocolatier, we have the perfect class for you. Even if you simply want to refine your palate and appreciate the nuances of fine chocolate, we’ve got you covered. Explore our upcoming specialty chocolate classes and treat yourself to a sweeter world of possibilities!

Our Chocolatier

Ruth Kennison Chocolatier

Ruth Kennison

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 is passionate about educating 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.

Shop Chocolate

Chocolate at The Gourmandise School

The Gourmandise School sells milk and dark specialty chocolate in small and large sizes from premium chocolate makers like Cordillera and Republica del Cacao.  This chocolate can be used for everything from making cookies to tempering.  We also sell a variety of premium chocolate bars from fair trade organic companies with high transparency.

Visit or shop or give us a call to order: (310) 656-8800 

Santa Monica Chocolate Society

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.

Once a month, we gather to taste regional bean-to-bar chocolates and explore everything chocolate, often with a guest speaker ranging from cacao farmers to 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. Ruth shares whatever’s fresh and exciting from her wonder cabinet of carefully curated bars and bonbons at each gathering. Interested in more? Check out our blog posts for tips and resources for buying craft and baking chocolates.

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 mega-brands 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!

Learn more about chocolate from our blog post “For the Love of Chocolate”


bon bon

The Chocolate BonBon Class

Friday, April 19

9:30am – 5:30pm

chocolate chip cookie kit

Saturday, April 20

2:00pm – 5:00pm


Chocolate Society


Tuesday, May 7

6:30pm – 8:30pm

chocolate cookies tempering class

Chocolate Tempering

Thursday, May 9

6:00pm – 9:00pm

balsamic truffles

Mother’s Day Truffles & Caramels

Sunday, May 12

10:30am – 2:30pm

bean to bar chocolate making class

Chocolate Workshop: From Bean To Bar

Saturday – Sunday
June 1 & 2

10:00am – 2:00pm

chocolat meringue cake

French Chocolate Cakes

Saturday – Sunday
June 7

10:00am – 1:30pm

chocolate chip cookie kit

Saturday, July 20

2:00pm – 5:00pm