Food News: ‘Modern Art Desserts’ Book Released, Genger Dinner at Eleven Madison Park

(Ten Speed Press)

(Ten Speed Press)

Visitors to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Blue Bottle Coffee bar over the past few years have been able to enjoy a wide variety of delicious pastries inspired by works on view at the museum, like white velvet Mondrian cake, strawberry and mint John Zurier popsicles and Tony Cragg ice cream cone.

Now the woman behind it all, pastry chef Caitlin Freeman, has a book out called Modern Art Desserts, which describes 27 of the creations she has made with her team. It sounds like a beautiful, beautiful tome. NPR’s food blog The Salt has the story about how she began her work (thank you to Blouin Artinfo for the tip):

Freeman started out wanting to be an art photographer. But one day, while still in art school, she came across Display Cakes, artist Wayne Thiebaud’s 1963 painting of frosted confections, during a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The image was so arresting, it stayed with her for years, and later inspired her to set off on a completely different career path: baking.

“I wasn’t really sure what I loved about [the painting], but I really just became obsessed with cakes,” Freeman tells The Salt.

Every wondered how to make a Mondrian cake? Yeah, me too:

In food-art news closer to home, artist Orly Genger is collaborating with the redoubtable Eleven Madison Park on a six-course meal in conjunction with her show in Madison Square Park, “Red, Yellow and Blue,” which opens May 1. Details here.

Arenson's 'Hydrox Cookie' 1966.

Arenson’s ‘Hydrox Cookie’ 1966.

On a more personal note, I was over at Acquavella Galleries this morning, where a remarkable exhibition called “The Pop Object” is on view. Not only are there some great Thiebauds but there are a number of great depictions of food, including a nice 20-inch-wide ceramic sculpture of a Hydrox cookie by Robert Arneson from 1966 that I had never seen before. Well worth a look, and then perhaps a trip to the Bouchon Bakery for one of their TKOs, which is probably the best Oreo-style cookie ever made.

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