The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is pleased to offer a new selection of art-inspired cakes and desserts at the museum’s Rooftop Coffee Bar. Baked and decorated by Blue Bottle Coffee Co. pastry chef Caitlin Williams Freeman, these cakes are a tasty way to enjoy the museum’s collection and special exhibitions and feed all of your senses.
Freeman says her goal was to “create desserts that pay homage to works in the museum without copying them.” Trained as a photographer, Freeman was initially inspired by Wayne Thiebaud’s paintings of mouthwatering pastries and sweets, and she decided to learn to bake and decorate cakes in order to photograph them. She subsequently gave up photography and became a pastry chef. The Thiebaud Cake, inspired by the painting Chocolate Cake (1971), features layers of chocolate cake, coffee ganache, and vanilla buttercream.
In addition to her popular Mondrian Cake (vanilla and red velvet cake with chocolate ganache), Freeman has created a new suite of art cakes for SFMOMA’s 75th anniversary year and for the exhibition Luc Tuymans, on view through May 2, 2010. On the menu is Andy Warhol Pop Art Corn (popcorn covered in maple syrup and barrel-aged brandy with peanuts), which comes in a special hand-printed box with a temporary tattoo that says “Art.” The Jeff Koons White Hot Chocolate (white chocolate, cardamom, lemon zest, Lillet marshmallows, and gold leaf) is inspired by the work Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1988) and is served in ornate, gilded Turkish coffee cups. The Diebenkorn Trifle (layers of genoise cake, citrus mousse, and lemon curd topped with pomegranate gelée) is served in clear glasses and inspired by the work Ocean Park #122 (1980). The Richard Serra Cookie Plate features three cookies (graham cracker, Swedish gingersnap, and chocolate sablé) and one citrus tuile with directions to make your own sculpture based on Serra’s work Right Angle Plus One (1969), on view in the museum’s fourth-floor galleries.
Also on the menu are Frida Kahlo Mexican Wedding Cookies, walnut Mexican wedding cookies in a hand-printed box with a printed ribbon—a reference to the ribbon in Kahlo’s wedding portrait Frieda and Diego Rivera (1931), on view the second-floor galleries. The Ellsworth Kelly Fudgsicle (Recchiuti chocolate, milk, cream, cocoa, sugar, and salt) is an homage to Kelly’s Stele I (1973); visitors can enjoy the fudgsicle while viewing the sculpture in the Rooftop Garden. Finally, the Luc Tuymans Parfait, a heart-shaped crème fraiche parfait with Earl Grey tea shortbread atop crème de violette gelée, is inspired by Tuymans’s painting St. Valentine (1994).
The Rooftop Coffee Bar also serves espresso, macchiato, cappuccino, caffè latte, caffè mocha, and affogatto, prepared using an ornate espresso machine from Amsterdam and presented in custom-designed cups by Heath Ceramics. The menu also includes New Orleans–style iced coffee, hot chocolate, tea, apple juice, lemonade, and bottled water. The Rooftop Coffee Bar features products from local vendors, including milk from Clover Organic Farms, chocolate from Recchiuti, and Humphry Slocombe ice cream.
The Rooftop Coffee Bar is open daily (except Wednesdays) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and open late on Thursdays until 8 p.m.
About Blue Bottle Coffee Co.
Blue Bottle Coffee Co. takes a hands-on approach to every step of artisan micro-roasting to discover and preserve the true nature of excellent coffee. They use only the finest certified organic coffees, and when available, coffees that are farmed traditionally without pesticides. After roasting, coffee beans exhale carbon dioxide for several hours. Instead of keeping the Blue Bottle beans in bins, they are mixed in blends and bagged within four hours to harness carbon dioxide and keep oxygen (and oxidation) out of the bags. Blue Bottle never pre-blends their coffees, thus assuring the ideal roast profile for each bean. All varietals are roasted individually and then mixed into the blends, producing an award-winning cup of coffee.