FRIDAY | JUNE 8TH, 2018
When legendary interior designer Cristóbal Renata gets sad, he eats blueberry Danish in the salon under his Diebenkorn. He wears a silk kimono too. But sadness, shame, and blues be gone. Today is his fifty-ninth birthday and he’s going to have cake.
Renowned interior designer et steady gossip extraordinaire spent five and half hours looking for said cake. He’s lived in Saint Delphine for decades and his closest friends are all women and th-
ey're all rich. They eat the vegan cakes so whatever soiree they’re throwing tonight won’t have what he needs. The town is lacking when it comes to traditional desserts. He’s not a vegan, though he’s tried and feigned. Enough is enough. It’s still another month until Paris so he set out at noon to find his own gift.
Left: Renata's salon sans Diebenkorn. He made use of the mauve fabric client and dear friend Eileen Messerschmidt hated. An environmentalist at heart.
A simple raspberry gâteau with whipped pink lemon frosting and a cherry on top in the form of a cupcake because he’s the only person in the world who thinks cake’s easier to eat when it’s smaller and 'cute'. When you have gold utensils, I suppose it is.
An hour in, he was hopeful. He’d only been to Pâtisserie George and Antoinette doesn’t touch milk, but she pointed him toward Preston Hill. By hour 3 he was tired. He’d searched every grocer, baker, sommelier, and personal chef in town. But then he remembered what Mrs. Edwards—second cousin to Jackie Kennedy—told him last year when he was vacationing in her Martha's Vineyard carriage house.
By hour five he was at the front door of Ruth Sedgwick. She’s had madeleines, danishes, croissants, and beurre flown in from Paris and Vienna every week since 1972. And she had the cake.
Portrait of Renata commissioned by Cosima Loren for his 58th birthday.
This is what he actually wanted.
Well, it wasn’t the cake but Cristóbal was tired, the hunger was deafening, and his feet hurt. If he didn’t take something he’d go home and cry under Diebenkorn and he wasn’t going to do that today. Happy birthday Cristóbal, you persevered and won.