Kings of Pastry, a reflection

The Kings of Pastry was part of the Exquisite Cuisine season shown on BBC Four “which served up a mouth-watering menu of programmes in search of perfection in food”.

As a joint venture between the BBC and VPRO (part of the Dutch Broadcasting System) the two directors follow 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 chefs, Regis Lazard, who was competing for the second time (he dropped his sugar sculpture the first time), and chef Philippe Rigollot, also feature through their preparation and during the three day gruelling examination. This is the prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition (Best Craftsmen in France). The winners of the M.O.F. have the privilege of wearing a blue, white and red striped collar on their jackets. Wearing the stripes if you are not an M.O.F leaves the person liable to face a term in prison, according to one of the contestants.

This film is more than just an exploration of delicious cakes, sweets, and creations that astound. It provides an intimate look of the struggle and hard work that goes into such a difficult challenge. While the subject matter provides a distracting and beautiful past time, it is the determination and hard work of the contestants that is gripping.

The film screened at the Watershed on Sunday, 2 May and the staff handed out tasty pastries bought from the Breadstore on Gloucester Rd as we walked out. A lovely touch, a gripping film.

For more information about Kings of Pastry, do explore the following sites: Twitter @KingsofPastry, the official website, and the BBC Four page for the movie.

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