May 10, 17 and 31, 2016: Upod Academy's Media Speaker Series & Chocolate Salon

Upod Academy Presents
An Evening Speaker Series
& Chocolate Salon
Los Angeles
7:00-10:00 pm
May 10, 17 and 31, 2016

Chocolate by Ruth Kennison (Photograph by Brita Potenza)

Chocolate by Ruth Kennison (Photograph by Brita Potenza)

I had you at chocolate, I'm guessing. Wait until you hear about the llamas.

Over three Tuesdays in May, Upod Academy is hosting a salon series featuring media powerhouses and, yes, some ridiculously good truffles, bars and bonbons. The evening gatherings give you a chance to hobnob informally with editorial bigwigs, connect with like-minded Upodders and taste chocolate by Ruth Kennison of The Chocolate Project.

David Hochman will conduct a Q&A with our VIP guests. You'll ask questions, too, before Ruth brings out the sweet stuff.

Join us for one or two evenings or all three for a 20% savings.

Our themes: Food, L.A. Stories, Love

May 10: Food
With lesley Bargar Suter

Lesley Bargar Suter knows her  arepas  from her  gorditas .

Lesley Bargar Suter knows her arepas from her gorditas.

Lesley Bargar Suter is a James Beard Award-winning editor (in fact, she just won her second) who oversees all food and dining coverage for Los Angeles Magazine. She's been a Top Chef judge, worked for Saveur and Conde Nast Traveler and regularly appears on KCRW's Good Food.

She started as a music editor at Filter and later served as Editor-in-Chief of the weekly newspaper L.A. Alternative.

We'll talk to Lesley about writing, the types of pitches she appreciates and what it's like to cover a food scene as wide-ranging as Los Angeles's.

Plus: Ruth Kennison will explain where chocolate actually comes from.

May 17: L.A. Stories
With Mike Kessler and sarah fuss kessler

Mike Kessler is a hard-working social animal.

Mike Kessler is a hard-working social animal.

Sarah Fuss Kessler occasionally travels in packs.

Sarah Fuss Kessler occasionally travels in packs.

Mike Kessler is a journalist whose work is everywhere (Outside, GQ, The New York Times Magazine, Men's Journal, Los Angeles Magazine...). He was among 13 American journalists awarded a Knight-Wallace Fellowship in April. Mike writes deeply reported, long-form stories on a range of public-interest topics, including homelessness, child sex trafficking, and gun violence. He has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award and was anthologized in Best American Magazine Writing. A former staff editor at Outside, Skiing, and Denver's 5280 magazine, Mike now lives at sea level in his native Los Angeles.

Sarah Fuss Kessler writes an enchanting digital newsletter called One Thing LA, a weekly compendium of beautiful places, objects and attractions in Los Angeles (David Hochman recently wrote about it for Forbes). She previously worked for Participant Media on special projects at, a progressive news website and a Upod favorite. Before that, Sarah edited food stories for Yahoo after being on staff for the 2004 John Kerry presidential campaign.

Also: Ruth Kennison discusses the surprising human rights issues around chocolate and offers a taste of the very best direct-trade bars on the market.  

May 31: Love
with cory jones and lindsay goldenberg jones

Cory Jones wants you to keep your clothes on.

Cory Jones wants you to keep your clothes on.

Lindsay Goldenberg Jones has zero commitment fear.

Lindsay Goldenberg Jones has zero commitment fear.

We end with a bacchanalia. Cory Jones is Chief Content Officer (aka head honcho) for Playboy and He was the person who convinced Hugh Hefner to go nudity-free last year in a move that rocked the media world. Cory's relaunch of Playboy's website generated a 250 percent-plus increase in web traffic. Previously, he ran Maxim's digital realm as editorial director. 

Cory's wife, Lindsay Goldenberg Jones, is founder of WomanGettingMarried, one of the fastest-growing wedding websites, with more than 400,000 monthly visitors. She helped launch as deputy editor and previously oversaw editorial content at and Lindsay's career started in print at magazines like Rolling Stone, Teen People and Reader's Digest.

Bonus: Ruth Kennison will settle the rumors about chocolate's secret powers as an aphrodisiac.


May 10, 17 and 31, 2016
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
$45 each session, including chocolate tasting and wine
$100 for all three (more than 20% savings)
RSVP now as space is limited

Pay now using PayPal:

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