|Kings of Pastry
A film by Chris Hegedus & D A Pennebaker
84 minutes, color, English, 2010
From the makers of the documentary classics Dont Look Back and The War Room.
D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus are simply the best - so when they turn their sights on the competition for the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF), France’s Nobel Prize for pastry, you’re in for a treat. Sixteen chefs whip up the most gorgeous, delectable, gravity-defying concoctions, and there is edge-of-the-seat drama as they deliver their fantastical, spun-sugar desserts to the display table. The inevitable disasters prove both poignant and hilarious. (Courtesy of Film Forum)
Pennebaker and 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. Also profiled is chef Regis Lazard, who is 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, whose critical palates 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.
Watch the Trailer
"Spellbinding brilliance, high drama and humor!" - Chicago Tribune
"Critic's Pick! You'll bite your nails and lick your lips!" - New York Magazine
"Nerve-wracking suspense." - The New York Times
"Forget Masterchef. This is the culinary Hurt Locker." - Herald Scotland
"Potent & riveting." - Variety
"World Cup-size thrills, tension, and glory! So mouthwatering and jazzily presented that it makes the Food Network look like reheated leftovers in comparison." - The Village Voice
"How sweet it is! The ultimate sugar high." - New York Post
"Critic's Pick! Alluring & irresistible! Everything looks so mouthwatering that no one should dare watch this film on even a half-empty stomach!" - Los Angeles Times
"Wonderful!" - Ruth Reichl
"A revealing window on artistry, obsession, triumph, tragedy, and cream puffs."
"! Finger-clenching tension! This real-life ‘Top Chef’ will have you gasping in shock and crying out in despair, but there are plenty of sweet moments as well!"
"Delivers huge servings of emotionally wrenching drama and delicious visuals! Hegedus and Pennebaker are at their peak with Kings of Pastry...entertainment as rich as the desserts on display!" - Film Journal International
The Art of French Pastry by Jacquy Pfeiffer
See details about this film's theatrical run.
Rigor Required, Cream Puffs Need Not Apply, The New York Times, 9/1/10
Filmmaker interview in Bon Appetit, 10/7/10
● Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer Demonstrates How to Make Sugar Sculptures