If you’re looking for a brief, non-pretentious but absorbing documentary, this is it (Thanks, Julie, for the recc!). My best friend recently graduated from the French Pastry School in Chicago, where the “star” of this film is a teacher, so it was also kinda cool having heard about Chef Jacquy and picking out this film without knowing it featured her favorite teacher.
“Kings of Pastry” is about the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF; “Best Craftsman in France”) competition, held every four years, in which 16 pastry chefs (narrowed down from 70) practice intensely, design and execute various dishes — sugar sculpture, wedding cakes, plated dishes and more — in hopes of earning the right to wear the famed red, white and blue striped MOF collar. The MOF final is a form of exam, so, in theory, all 16 chefs could earn the collar if their work is up to par. It’s hard not to hold your breath when they’re struggling to transport their delicate, fantastical sugar sculptures down long hallways.