• September 2010
    M T W T F S S
    « Aug   Oct »
  • Craven Maven is about..

    ..experiencing food and all that goes with it.
  • Who is the Craven Maven..?

  • Be a Locavore – what’s in Season?

    Locavore App for Iphone
    Download the Locavore App for iPhone to find out what produce is currently in season in your region. (created by enjoymentland).
  • Advertisements

Kings of Pastry: love and loss when striving for Mastery

Kings of Pastry

Last night I attended the NYC premiere of the documentary Kings of Pastry – an insight into the path of attaining the prestigious title Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, (MOF) or best craftsman in France. What a rollercoaster. We follow three accomplished pastry chef’s as they compete for the coveted title; the kind-faced protagonist, Jacquy Pfeiffer is co-founder of the French school of Pastry in Chicago.

The three day Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition occurs every four years and is Olympian in its requirements of dedication, endurance, skill and creativity. Creating a menu of visually stunning gastronomic masterpieces under the scrutinous eye of the judges, (all previous MOF’s and in some cases, Idols and mentors of the competitors), takes a notable toll on the mental, physical and emotional wherewithal of the competing chefs. “Imagine pulling sugar while being watched by a guy who is a master at it. Who you’ve looked up to for years” states one of the competitors. That sentence alone sums up a modicum of the level of stress that these passionate artisans have to work under. Pulling sugar, molding chocolate, baking cake layers, crafting mousses – this contest is not for the faint of heart as precision in recipe, craftsmanship and humidity are what help these delicate edible works of art come to life.

Filmakers D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, do a great job at honing in on the heart of the story: the competitors and their relationships. Relationships with their family, with their mentors and more importantly with themselves and the desire to be the very best at what they do. Meilleurs Ouvriers de France is more than just a title – and the ever flowing tears on the part of the competitors AND judges make that quite clear.

Our audience laughed, gasped and ooh’ed throughout the screening. One notable gasp of disbelief echo’ed when pastries and cakes that took hours to make were discarded without a second thought. I think a little bit of me died inside..

There is no doubting the French’s strive for excellence in whatever they do. Mastery comes with hard work, talent and persistence – nothing less. And when the time is right it is duly rewarded, in the case of the MOF’s with a tri-color collar that will adorn them for life.

Kings of Pastry is currently playing at the Film Forum in NYC, check the film website to see when it will be in your city.

image via kingsofpastry.com


2 Responses

  1. oh man, i have to see this! fantastic review, saer šŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: