Live in LA: Celebrating Creativity, Diversity and Artistry in California

The Upgrade co-hosts Amira Hashish and Fleur Rollet-Manus are West Hollywood bound for a special dinner party and live panel recording with a glittering audience. In partnership with Visit California and joined by a panel of LA's finest creatives, they're celebrating the diverse, artistic landscape of the Golden State.

In partnership with

It's about finding those untold stories of craft makers, of small businesses... everyone deserves a seat at the table

Danny Guerrero, Founder of The Culturist Group

Tune in as @PHLEMUNS founder James Flemons unveils why Los Angeles has the most liberating landscape in the US for launching a relevant fashion brand whilst mother/daughter design duo Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka of @houseofaama discuss the Black experience that is conveyed in their timeless garments. @theculturistgroup founder Danny Guerrero explores his pathway to inclusive, culture-forward communications in the travel world and @shortstorieshotels owner Leo Grifka outlines his vision for the hotel world.

In partnership with Visit California, this episode was recorded live at a dinner party - produced by creative studio Rapport and hosted at Short Stories Hotel - with some of the greatest creative minds from the Golden State in attendance.

Under a canopy of lush trees, guests gathered around a California-themed dining table scattered with reclaimed vintage napkins to retro matchbooks and handmade candles. Every detail of the tablescape nodded to the Golden State's heritage. Florals were by talented artisan Christina Pack of Wild at Heart Florist.

A delectable feast and cocktail program by Short Stories Restaurant comprised of olive choclo flatbread, crispy seabass ceviche, Peruvian arroz con pollo and the hotel's signature Basque cheesecake. Rosé was courtesy of Lorenza, founded by the mother daughter team of Melinda Kearney, a wine industry veteran from Napa Valley and Michèle Lorenza Ouellet, an international fashion model. The chardonnay was in full flow with "unstuffed" Knotty Vines bottles created by millennial female winemaker Olivia Wright.

Meanwhile, Broc Cellars showcased its natural whites made in Berkeley by Chris Brockway. Santa Barbara's Final Girl Wines, by Latina owner/winemaker Anna Clifford and her husband Peter, added a spooky touch to proceedings with their horror movie inspired labels. All bottles were passionately poured by wine educator Lexi Stephens who recounted the story of each winery.

A California party wouldn't be complete without top-notch tequila. Cocktails were crafted from LALO Ranch Water's blanco bottle - which has no barrels or additives - made with the finest agave from the Jalisco highlands. It is named after founder Eduardo "Lalo" González, whose legendary grandfather Don Julio (yes, the Don Julio) gave him the nickname Lalo.

Women-founded Sandy Beer was the go to palate cleanser. Born on the beaches of Southern California in pursuit of the first clean, thirst-quenching brew, it balances wellness with a healthy dose of fun.

The super chic Ghia provided a spirit-free apéritif option. Cans of Ghia's Le Spritz were as delicious as they were pure with a biting combination of botanical extracts. Meanwhile, the 100% recyclable & refillable Boxed Water kept everyone hydrated in style.

Guests were gifted a sparkling goodie bag with sustainable treats such as a Slowtide beach towel and Youthforia beauty product. Not forgetting the latest volume of SUITCASE, of course.

Catch up on the action and listen to the full episode now

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