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Kings of Pastry2009

  • 4.2
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.

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"You’ll bite your nails and lick your lips. . .yet another depiction of top chefs going for it, but here’s the thing: They’re not competing against one another. They’re doing it for art." - David Edelstein, NY Magazine


1 member likes this review

Three words: Iron Pastry Chef. I saw this fun and gripping film at a festival a couple of years ago and am glad that it's on Fandor so others can see it too. As if competing to be the best pastry chef in the very land of pastry chefs weren't enough excitement, this fim has not just one of what Roger Ebert once called a "fish tank" -- a beautiful object placed in a film so that it can be spectacularly broken -- but one for each contestant.

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Member Reviews (7)

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top reviewer

Three words: Iron Pastry Chef. I saw this fun and gripping film at a festival a couple of years ago and am glad that it's on Fandor so others can see it too. As if competing to be the best pastry chef in the very land of pastry chefs weren't enough excitement, this fim has not just one of what Roger Ebert once called a "fish tank" -- a beautiful object placed in a film so that it can be spectacularly broken -- but one for each contestant.

1 member likes this review

Exciting and fascinating. My heart broke with the sugar piece. So beautiful! I admire the chef's "sang froid" I would have screamed my lungs out. I love the friendship between the chefs, their brotherhood. The contest itself is more nerve-racking than a thriller.

1 member likes this review

Magnifique! Tragique! Exciting & delicious to the very end. I would love to watch another M.O.F. competition filmed.

1 member likes this review

a very special documentary. in a word "delicious"

Great doc. It was engaging and worth watching. I'm not really into sweets, but this made me want to go get some dessert.

super entertaining

enjoyed !