Learn to cook atop Santa Monica Place

By Jen Jones Donatelli

Pie-making classes? Yes. Thai cooking classes? Yep, check. It’s all here at the Gourmandise School, where both amateur and seasoned cooks can learn from LA notables like pastry chef Roxana Jullapat, Pono Burger’s Makani Gerardi, and Michelin-starred chef Stefano DeLorenzo (gnocchi-making class, anyone?). “Everyone on staff is a working chef,” says co-owner Clemence Gossett. “We focus on classic technique using great seasonal ingredients.”

She’s not kidding—she and co-owner Hadley Hughes can be spotted every Wednesday and Sunday gathering fresh ingredients at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. In fact, they picked their plum location inside Santa Monica Place since it was in easy walking distance to the market. And they’re not the only ones getting hands-on; “learn by doing” types will be happy to know that the school’s classes are 100 percent participatory. “Every person in the class takes part in learning every dish on the class menu,” says Gossett. Plus, there are never too many cooks in the kitchen, as the class sizes are kept intimate with 12 to 16 participants.

Can’t cook without a glass of wine in hand? Never fear—all classes are BYOB. (If you forget to bring a bottle, stop at neighbor Venokado; they are privy to class menus and can offer a specially paired selection.) At the end of class, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your creations with a sit-down meal—or simply take home a box of sweet treats, in the case of baking classes.

The school is celebrating its fourth anniversary this year, just as the Arclight prepares to open on the same floor inside Santa Monica Place. Says Gossett, “The third floor of the mall is being reinvented, and we’re a big part of it.”

Most popular classes

Donut Making
The Thai Class
Soba Noodle Workshop
Knife Skills


Front desk: 11 AM–7 PM daily
Classes run all day: 10 AM–1 PM, 2 PM–5 PM, 6:30 PM–9:30 PM

price range

$85 to $125