I saw a great documentary yesterday called Kings of Pastry about French pastry chefs who compete for the title of Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF) or Best Craftsmen in France. The 2010 film by filmmakers D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus follows three participants on their nerve-wracking journey as they get coached by MOFs through many trial and errors. One is chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of Chicago’s French Pastry School. During the competition, another chef declares that he will never try for the title again, as it is too stressful. The pressure to be the best is something these pastry chefs put on themselves. Like the Rocky movies, this documentary is man against himself, as the chefs do not compete against each other but compete to get the title of MOF. Since we see most of the chefs as they create sugar sculpture cakes, the nail-biting parts of the documentary are whenever these cakes need to be transported. Of course, they crack, break and melt from the humidity and that adds to the stress of the chefs and of the viewer as we watch to see who will make the cut. I enjoyed the movie as a glimpse into the lives, work and art of dedicated pastry chefs, who happen to be my favorite kind of chefs!
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