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Kings of Pastry (DVD Review)

13 Feb, 2011 By: Billy Gil

Street 2/22/11
First Run
Box Office $0.3 million
$27.95 DVD
Not rated.

The creative process in competition form can be fascinating to watch, regardless of what is being created — witness the popularity of shows such as “Project Runway” among those less-than-knowledgeable about fashion.

The success of Food Network and its excellent shows should sell a film such as Kings of Pastry, which details the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition to be considered among the best pastry chefs in the world. It’s like “Top Chef,” except the contestants are creating huge Salvador Dalí-esque sculptures of fragile sugar that threaten to snap as they are transported.

The competition is fierce, but not catty. When a competitor’s sugar sculpture breaks, you can almost hear his heart breaking in unison.

Kings of Pastry is excellently detailed, with a fun Dixieland score keeping things light, and benefits from focusing on three chefs out of the 16 competing in the three-day competition. My favorite was Chef Philippe Rigollot, who makes beautifully whimsical lollipops and uses his young children as his most esteemed judges. The feats on display in Kings of Pastry might make you look at that beautiful crème brulee you just ordered and think it the work of an amateur.

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