Kings of Pastry

Kings of Pastry

Streaming Video - 2010
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Imagine a scene never before witnessed: Sixteen French pastry chefs gathered in Lyon for three intense days of mixing, piping and sculpting everything from delicate chocolates to six-foot sugar sculptures in hopes of being declared by President Nicolas Sarkozy one of the best. This is the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition (Best Craftsmen in France). The blue, white and red striped collar worn on the jackets of the winners is more than the ultimate recognition for every pastry chef - it is a dream and an obsession. The finalists, France's culinary elite, risk their reputations as well as sacrifice family and finances in pursuit of this lifelong distinction of excellence. Similar to the Olympics, the three-day contest takes place every four years and it requires that the chefs not only have extraordinary skill and nerves of steel, but also a lot of luck. Filmmakers D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus secured exclusive access to shoot this epic, never-before-filmed test of France's finest artisans. The film follows chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of Chicago's French Pastry School, as he journeys back to his childhood home of Alsace to practice for the contest. Two other finalists are profiled in the film -- chef Regis Lazard, who was competing for the second time (he dropped his sugar sculpture the first time), and chef Philippe Rigollot, from Maison Pic, France's only three-star restaurant owned by a woman. During the grueling final competition, chefs work under constant scrutiny by master judges and the critical palates of some of the world's most renowned chefs evaluate their elaborate pastries. Finally, these pastry marathoners racing the clock must hand carry all their creations including their fragile sugar sculptures through a series of rooms to a final buffet area without shattering them. The film captures the high-stakes drama of the competition - passion, sacrifice, disappointment, and joy - in the quest to become one of the Kings of Pastry.
Publisher: [United States] : First Run Films : Made available through hoopla, 2010
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 84 min.)) : sd., col


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Nov 16, 2017

These pastry chefs are artists. They create amazingly beautiful and delectable cakes and pastries to the point of astounding creative and artistic expression. The competition is tough and rigorous. A very interesting and entertaining documentary.

Jan 31, 2015

Oh wow, I never realized just how intense and detailed the preparations are for the Bouce D'Or are. My hat off to all those who have earned the right to the collar. Okay, I have been knocked down to size. I am simply a home cook and could aspire but never attain their level of art. Well worth watching and gaining an insight into another world most of us rarely see

Nov 21, 2014

If you've ever seen Food Network in its earlier days, you've seen pastry competitions. This is the ultimate French pastry competition. What sets this apart from the American TV versions is the compassion the judges show to the competitors.

d2013 Jul 20, 2013

Beautiful pieces of art that should be put in museums just to look at. The stress that these chefs go through to win a competition is unreal. On a scale of 1 to 10 I wonder if these cakes are as good as they look, but I'm willing to volunteer.

Sep 17, 2012

Amazing what some people can make with sugar and chocolate. A really stressful competition to show the best of your skills and get the title of master.
Even thought, some think that the sculptures don't look appetizing, they are made for exhibitions and big parties. I don't know if anybody really eats them.

Jun 08, 2012

Sometimes these docs are an eye-opener. I had no idea so many cool and interesting things should be done with sugar, and the amount of stress that these individuals are under to get to this point in their career is overwhelming. You feel for them, specially when at crunch time the pieces start to collapse.

Mar 09, 2012

Loved the comment about how eating food of excellent quality each day in small quanitities is good for the brain! I agree. The pastry didn't look particularly appetizing, perhaps watching the stress of the chefs had something to do with that.

Feb 24, 2012

The stress these master chefs put themselves through to obtain a color that gives them recognition and status in the cooking and pastry world! I find it ridiculous many of the things they do, and I have more respect for the pastry chef who prides in making great pastry for the people. Some of the pastries were beautiful to look at, most did not look appetizing to me. There was some lovely scenes, and if you love watching food preparation, you'll appreciate this film.


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