Sick of phony competition shows that are focused on stereotypes and bad manners instead of real accomplishments in the kitchen? Then watch Kings of Pastry, a new documentary from D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus that is about an authentic competition for excellence.
The film follows some of the 16 finalists who are competing for the title, Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, MOF, France’s highest honor. The MOF is not equivalent to winning Top Chef or Iron Chef – it isn’t about being good on TV. It is an award for attaining the highest standards of a profession and mastering every aspect of the craft in many fields from food preparation to masonry.
The focus of the film is Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of Chicago’s French Pastry School, as he prepares for the competition. After practicing in America, he moves to Alsace, leaving behind his wife and children, to focus for the grueling three-day event. He has to master complex sugar sculptures, wedding cakes, pastries, chocolates and lollipops along with timing and gaining enough stamina to carry his all his creations to the judging table. The competition itself is engrossing, as each chef is pushed to physical and mental exhaustion under the constant scrutiny of the judges. The film introduces some, but not all, of the other contestants as well as the some of the judges and coaches.
There is no narrator to guide the story, other then time ticking down to the competition. The film is quietly engrossing as the tension mounts, and more then one participant is reduced to tears at the end.
King of Pastry is about passion for one’s profession – and it will inspire any young person to push him or herself to do well and achieve their goals.
Kings of Pastry Clip 1
Duration: 02 minutes 02 seconds