Reviews for Modern Art Desserts : Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Confections, and Frozen Treats Based on Iconic Works of Art

Booklist Reviews 2013 February #1
*Starred Review* Although all of baker-author (The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee, 2012) Freeman's inspirations have been prompted by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, it's hard to believe that photographer Francesca Woodman's works could be classified as iconic--especially since her portfolio spans only a few years. Nonetheless, this is a remarkably innovative collection of more than 30 dessert recipes, all of which are modeled on art owned by the museum. Since that's the home of the author's Blue Bottle Café, she takes full advantage of her environment, laying a good foundation, first, for those who dare to emulate her fancibles. (The names might sound simple, but processes alone consume many hours and demand much baking expertise.) For example, the Sherman ice cream float (after Cindy Sherman's photographs) is actually two recipes--raspberry sorbet and bubble-gum-soda concentrate--resulting in eight floats over the space of eight hours. Each recipe is accompanied by a photograph of the artwork upon which it is based, with a short but vivid description as well as instructions (with color photographs). Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews 2013 February #2

Freeman leads the pastry program for the Blue Bottle Coffee Company, which operates an outlet in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. For the museum café, Freeman creates art-inspired desserts like Mondrian Cake, Thiebaud Chocolate Cake, and Warhol Jell-O. Here, she shows advanced home bakers how to re-create these masterpieces. The book includes detailed assembly instructions for each dessert and a list of resources for tools and serving ware. VERDICT Cookbook meets exhibit catalog in this art-themed collection, which includes a few repeats from The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 January #1

In her first cookbook, Modern Desserts, Freeman looks to blur the lines between food and art. As head pastry chef at the Blue Bottle Cafe in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), she looks to employ the layers of cake and confection as molding blocks for the creation of taste pleasing and aesthetically imposing edible sculptures. Partially inspired as direct representation of artists' works, such as the "Thiebaud cakes" or "Mondrian cake," and partially inspired by the ideas present in an artist's work (see "Ryman cake" and "Tuymans Parfait"), each creation is intrinsically linked to the element in which it was created. Recognizing the importance of the relationship between the art and food, the book is not content with just presenting recipes; it also displays the original artwork in color photos with brief explanations next to each picture. Although there is a possibility of applying techniques and concepts in this book for personal art projects, the scope of dessert construction and baking theory is limited by the very nature of the work. Billed as recipes based on "iconic works of art," the patisserie guide never really strays into creations of one's own mind; rather it stays safely in the box of copying recipes set out on the page (of which there are 27). With a lengthy introduction and only a small section on baking equipment and ingredients (nine total pages), this book is either for those who crave modern art in edible form or those who have a lot of time on their hands to experiment. (Apr.)

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