Kings of Pastry (2010)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Film Forum is pleased to present the U.S. theatrical premiere of KINGS OF PASTRY, by legendary documentary filmmaking team, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus (DONT LOOK BACK, MONTEREY POP, THE WAR ROOM), opening September 15. Sixteen contenders seek the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France ("MOF"), France's highest honor in the sublime art of patisserie, employing vast amounts of sugar, butter and eggs - not to mention adrenaline - to create gorgeous, fantastical, delicious creations. Some of the world's most accomplished chefs gather in Lyon for three intense days of mixing, piping and sculpting everything from delicate chocolates and elaborate cream puffs to six-foot-high sugar sculptures. D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus secured exclusive access to shoot this never-before-filmed event. They follow chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of Chicago's French Pastry School, as he journeys to his childhood home of Alsace to practice for the contest. During the competition itself, chefs work under constant scrutiny by master judges and their critical palates. These pastry marathoners race to deliver their creations (including extraordinarily fragile sugar sculptures) without shattering them. It's a suspenseful quest for artistic perfection - brimming with passion, sacrifice, disappointment, and joy - to become one of the KINGS OF PASTRY. -- (C) Film Forum … More
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Critic Reviews for Kings of Pastry
The Food Network is awash with cooking- and baking-competition shows, but The Kings of Pastry operates on a much higher level.
Documentary peeking into a high-stakes French competition will fascinate foodies.
What makes Kings of Pastry more than a sugar-coated showcase of culinary porn is its emphasis on the individual human dramas that exist behind all of these delicacies.
Audience Reviews for Kings of Pastry
If you are interested in the culinary arts, you will probably like this documentary about three of the 16 chefs seeking the Maitre Ouvrier de France designation; if you're looking for an uplifting tale of overcoming adversity, you'll be mostly satisfied, though the director's angle leaves a little to be desired - it kind of felt like he just turned the camera on. The low budget filming bothered me, too. Interesting enough, and not much "wrong with it," but it just wasn't my cup of tea.
"Kings of Pastry" is an interesting documentary about the Meilleur Ouvrier de France competition held once every four years with a spotlight on Jacquy Pfeiffer of the French Pastry School of Chicago. To borrow a phrase from one of the judges, it is kind of like the olympics for pastry chefs in that not only have their entire careers been building to this one moment, it also entirely depends on what they do in competition which is stretched over three days. This time, the theme is weddings with a surprise in store for the chefs. Since this is a great honor that goes just beyond the cool tricolor collars, the judges watch the chefs like hawks in order to make sure they stick closely to the rules, so only the best have a chance. They are not the only ones as the cameras follow the chefs around as they create their concoctions which have to be handled as delicately as possible, giving new meaning to the phrase "agony of defeat." In fact, the judges root for their fellow chefs to make it, as the chief judge cries when he reveals how few actually qualified at the end. Even then, there is a happy ending for the film. However, the documentary did not make me hungry. Well, I wouldn't mind one of those lollipops.
Don't even consider this as a Reality Cooking Contest, this is a true title is at stake. After watching this documentary you'll never see your pastry the same way ever again.
Another production where D.A. Pennebaker comes through
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