Kings of Pastry
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Part of Thalia Docs / Film

2010. Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker. Netherlands/US/UK/France. 84 min. Color. Documentary.

Official Selection: Berlin Film Festival; International Documentary Festival Amsterdam; Full Frame Documentary Film Festival; Los Angeles Film Festival; Hot Docs Documentary Festival and more.

"CRITICS' PICK! You'll bite your nails and lick your lips!" -David Edelstein, New York Magazine

Critic’s Pick! "Alluring, irresistible…Everything these men make…looks so mouth-watering that no one should dare watch this film on even a half-empty stomach." - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

"World Cup–size thrills, tension, and glory... so mouthwatering and jazzily presented that it makes the Food Network look like reheated leftovers in comparison!" - Aaron Hillis, The Village Voice

"How sweet it is!...Call it the ultimate sugar high." - VA Musetto, The New York Post

"A delectable new documentary…spellbinding demonstrations of pastry-making brilliance, high drama and even light moments of humor." - Monica Eng, The Chicago Tribune

"Marvelous...a total delight! What makes the film so irresistible is its lighter-than-air tone, which allows us to marvel at the seriousness of the chefs' craft without losing sight of the inherent absurdity of pastry chefs approaching the design of a cream puff as if they were scientists working on an atom bomb." -Patrick Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

"Thrilling, heart-stopping, exquisite." - The Independent"Wonderful!" -Ruth Reichl

"Kings of Pastry is a yummy treat for anyone who wonders what it takes to become the best in the world at making dessert. For the rest of us, there are always cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies." - Chef Danny Meyer

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.