All Things Chocolate

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

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 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.

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 from everything from making cookies to tempering.  We also sell a nice 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 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. 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”


Chocolate Tempering

Friday, March 24

10:30am – 2:00pm

Chocolate Tempering

Thursday, April 20

6:00pm – 9:30pm

The Chocolate BonBon Class

Sunday, April 23

10:00am – 6:00pm

The Santa Monica Chocolate Society: Mezecal & Chocolate Pairings

Wednesday, April 26

6:30pm – 8:00pm

TWO-DAY CHOCOLATE WORKSHOP: Make Crafte Chocolates from Bean to Bar

Saturday, May 20
10:00am – 1:00pm

Sunday, May 21
10:00am – 2:00pm

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Class

Sunday, May 21

3:00pm – 6:00pm

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie Class

Friday, June 9

10:00am – 1:00pm