It’s the classic case of tart imitating life imitating art. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is getting called out for hawking what appear to be knock-off cakes. As Paolo Lucchesi of the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the newly renovated SFMOMA reopened with a brand new fifth-floor eatery – the matter-of-factly named Café 5 – selling art-inspired sweet treats. The only problem is, another pastry chef created strikingly similar desserts in that exact same location a few years previous.
The cakes do sound pretty fun:
Except that pastry chef Caitlin Williams Freeman (and wife of Blue Bottle Coffee owner James Freeman) created at SFMOMA six years ago:
Back in 2012, we hosted a public cupping at what was then the Blue Bottle café, which we counted as quite possibly the larges public cupping in human history! NBD
In 2013, the SFMOMA closed to being the aforementioned remodel, which meant Blue Bottle’s spot in that café space was now going back out to bid:
In the end, SFMOMA declined to have Blue Bottle return, opting instead to give a third-floor coffee bar to a fellow local coffee roaster, Sightglass.
The operation of the fifth-floor cafe, meanwhile, went to McCalls Catering, which had previously run the now-defunct ground-floor cafe, Caffe Museo.
But it seemed that while the vendors changed, the inspiration stayed the same:
The SF Chronicle notes that recreation of another chef’s dish is not uncommon in culinary circles:
But Chef Freeman seems to have a sense of humor about the whole situation, all things considered:
You can buy the goddamn book of art desserts here.
Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.
*top image by Connor Radnovich for the SF Chronicle