Caitlin Freeman is a former UC Santa Cruz photography student who co-foundedSan Francisco bakery Miette and then started making pastries for her husband James Freeman’s Blue Bottle Coffee locations in the Bay Area, including the cafe on SFMOMA’s rooftop.
As SFMOMA’s in-house pastry chef, Freeman and team, comprised of Leah Rosenberg and Tess Wilson, are able to channel a love for paintings and photography into baking, resulting in cakes, cookies and confections that pay homage to artworks on view in the museum’s galleries.
Past creations have included a Katharina Fritsch ice cream sandwich, with poodle-shaped chocolate cookies sandwiching vanilla ice cream; a Thiebaud pink cake inspired by the museum’s large collection of Bay Area artist Wayne Thiebaud’s paintings; and a fresh spearmint ice milk and strawberry popsicle for Santa Monica-born artist John Zurier’s painting “Arabella.”
All of said edible spinoffs and more -- a Mondrian cake, Kahlo wedding cookies, Matisse parfait, Warhol gelee and Koons white hot chocolate -- are in Freeman’s new cookbook “Modern Art Desserts.” The cookbook will be released on April 16, just in time for those wanting to try their hand at making the cafe’s art-inspired desserts while the museum is closed for renovation, starting June 2, until early 2016.
Freeman has some treats in store before the museum and cafe close including an ice cream cake based on a Garry Winogrand photograph that plays music while you eat it.