A Charitable Round Table Event: Love & Saffron

The Literary Affairs Medici Foundation presents:
A Charitable Round Table Event

Monday, October 23 and Tuesday, October 24, 2023

A special Cook by the Book Picnic Event presented by Literary Affairs and ArtBites.

You are invited to a unique two part culinary and book club experience celebrating the novel Love & Saffron.

We will start with a virtual culinary adventure on Monday, October 23 from 4 p.m. through 5:30 p.m. In this online event you’ll learn about the rich history of the picnic as seen through art and create delicious dishes inspired by the letters in Love & Saffron and 1960’s culinary icons. We will use fresh fall ingredients to create a perfect outdoor dining experience. You will discover mouthwatering recipes, along with helpful tips and tricks from Maite Gomez-Rejon, founder of ArtBites. You will create a picnic feast to pack up and bring to our picnic the next day.

We will then all gather for a private picnic and book club led by the founder of Literary Affairs, Julie Robinson, on Tuesday, October 24 from 11:30am-1pm. We will discuss Love & Saffron with the author Kim Fay, as we enjoy the food we prepared. This National Bestseller and #1 Indie Next Pick is a beautiful exploration of food and friendship.

The Charitable Round Table is the opportunity to have an art/cooking class and book club picnic led by Maite and Julie along with the author Kim Fay. The profits from this Charitable Round Table event will be split between Julie’s charity of choice, The Library Foundation of Los Angeles, and the charity selected by the guest author. Kim Fay has requested that her donation be in support of the Alexandria House in Los Angeles.


Monday, October 23rd
4 pm – 5:30 pm
Online via Zoom

Tuesday, October 24th
11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Roxbury Park
471 S. Roxbury Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

This is an exclusive space limited event to maintain intimacy.

If you are interested in making a donation and attending, please contact us via the button below.

Photo Credit: Picnic at Bedford Hills by Florine Stettheimer


Kim Fay is the author of two historical novels, the Instant National Bestseller Love & Saffron and The Map of Lost Memories, an Edgar Award Finalist for Best First Novel. She has also written a food memoir, Communion: A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam, a Gourmand World Cookbook Award winner. She created and served as the series editor for the innovative To Asia With Love guidebooks, and was a Hotel and Travel Editor for the travel, food, and lifestyle website, Gayot.com, for thirteen years. She is currently the Managing Editor for The Animation Guild’s Keyframe magazine and website.


Maite Gomez-Rejón, founder of ArtBites, explores the nexus of art and culinary history through lectures and cooking classes in museums across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum. She has been a guest on the Today Show, featured in Food & Wine and Hyperallergic and interviewed on KCRW’s Good Food and the BBC’s The Food Programme. Her writings have appeared in Life & Thyme, Eaten Magazine, Gastro Obscura, and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History among other publications. She has co-curated exhibits on the history of maize and cacao at LA Plaza Cocina de Gloria Molina in Los Angeles and is co-host of the Hungry for History podcast on iHeart Radio.

Maite has a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin, an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Grand Diplome from The French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) in New York City.


When twenty-seven-year-old Joan Bergstrom sends a fan letter – as well as a gift of saffron – to fifty-nine-year-old Imogen Fortier, a life-changing friendship begins. Joan lives in Los Angeles and is just starting out as a writer for the newspaper food pages. Imogen lives on Camano Island outside Seattle, writing a monthly column for a Pacific Northwest magazine, and while she can hunt elk and dig for clams, she’s never tasted fresh garlic – exotic fare in the Northwest US of the 1960s. As the two women commune through their letters, they build a closeness that sustains them through the unexpected changes in their own lives.

Food and a good life – they can’t be separated. It is a discovery the women share not only with each other, but with the men in their lives. Because of her correspondence with Joan, Imogen’s decades-long marriage blossoms into something new and exciting, and in turn, Joan learns that true love does not always come in the form we expect it to.

Into this beautiful, intimate world comes the ultimate test of Joan and Imogen’s friendship – a test that summons their unconditional trust in one another.


Founded in 1996, Alexandria House is a house of hospitality and hope. Our goal is to provide safe and supportive housing for women and children experiencing homelessness and trauma. Alexandria House offers a continuum of support as people move from crisis situations to financial and emotional stability, and ultimately to permanent housing. We also serve our broader community by providing wellness, educational and enrichment opportunities and resources to meet the basic needs for our neighbors. We are intentionally multicultural and anti-racist and are committed to addressing the systemic injustices that keep women and families disenfranchised and living in poverty.


The Library Foundation of Los Angeles provides critical support to the Los Angeles Public Library resulting in free programs, resources, and services available to the millions of adults, children, and youth in Los Angeles. Through fundraising, advocacy, and innovative programs, the Library Foundation strengthens the Los Angeles Public Library and promotes greater awareness of its valuable resources.

For more information on the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, please visit their web site at https://lfla.org/