Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kings of Pastry

Gerard Mulot Pastry Box, 9" x 11"
Pastry chefs and I have always seen eye to eye.  

They are the 'artistes' in the kitchen, painting with chocolate and sugar.  
They loved having their portraits on their own business cards. They got my food art biz going.
I was thrilled when I received an invite to a screening of KINGS OF PASTRY.The film is about the 3-day competition of carefully selected French pastry chefs, sixteen in total, competing for the much coveted M.O.F. award or Meilleur Ouvriers De France taking place in Lyon.

I was in Maine and missed the screening, but they sent me the video. And is it fun!  The Guardian said,"I never saw so many men sobbing at once" and,"A culinary HURT LOCKER"
You see top pastry artistes pushed to the limit, racing against time and against each other to make their super, fragiles creations. You see top pastry judges of France (PH included!) tasting and grading the contender's art works (16 desserts) and their responses. Full of suspense...catastrophes beaucoup. Even the judges are in tears. If you love French pastry, you MUST see KINGS OF PASTRY 

Top pastry chefs of the highest order are required to make chocolate confectionary sculptures.Made of sugar, these chocolate masterpieces were at the Salon du Chocolat last October. Now I have a better idea of the enormous effort that went into making them. Oh the torture, oh the sleepless nights.

I attended the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie in Lyon in '94 - words can not describe the fabulousness. Last June I returned to Lyon for a macaron class. Instead I ate lunch at Paul Bocuse's Brasserie Le Nord.
Chaleureuse/warm indeed.Steeped in the old French tradition of quality and simplicity.You know I had une salade.For my plat, the very traditional cote d'agneau.
How I wished I had ordered dessert...something like this elaborate chocolate chapeau.
And go see the movie.


  1. I saw the Kings of Pastry when it made its North American debut at the Full Frame Festival here in Durham, NC. I loved every delicious second of it! I want my very own copy, too. I thought of you, Carol, when I saw the macarons.
    Bon appétit!

  2. @Sabbatical Chef
    When the pastry students in the school make the messy macarons!
    HA! too funny
    'Course I will never be a pastry chef=too messy by far...sigh

  3. Brilliant, thanks so much for sharing this, I will hunt it down immediately and Paul can watch it before he goes off to his chocolate making course.

  4. Hi Carol . . .
    I read your blog as often as I can and love every word!
    Thank you again for sharing and for posting each day
    PS We live near DC and my daughter and I are looking forward to seeing you at your opening!

    I wanted to let you know that Paris Breakfast has been featured on Guide to Culinary School's list of the Top 50 French Cooking blogs.
    I think what I appreciate most about your site is your sense of artistry. You do watercolors (some of which you have put on your site), and your artist's eye also comes through in your photography. I would say 'thank you' for making me drool, but...

  6. M. in Paris3:00 PM

    c'est amusant et charmant

  7. Boy, you are just flying high lately!
    Great photos, as always - and that dinner looks incredible.
    I'm hungry :)

  8. Is it playing there, now?
    Not seen anything about it here in SF.

  9. Justine4:02 PM

    Fanatastic compilation of your lush pastry watercolor + the MOF competition + the chocolate scultures and then some whoelsome french meat and potatos c/o Paul Bocuse

  10. Anna-Maria A.4:07 PM

    I'm sure I'd enjoy it.
    Must do a search for when it's coming our way.

  11. Wow!
    Your watercolor today is SO pretty!!

  12. I was inspired by the flights of fantasie of the pastry chefs - all the spun sugar and ribbons and florals...
    I watched it as I was painting today :)

  13. hieronymus B.4:25 PM

    You just keep showing us more and more aspects of your talent - the depth and range - you seem to be picking up the pace...Like today's drawings of the chefs

  14. I loved watching the preview, now I must see where I can see the whole movie. Looks great. Thanks for showing the video.

  15. Love your luscious watercolor, great post and thank you for posting that short video for those of us who are neophytes to this pastry world -- this was an interesting experience to watch.
    "Fine cooking is when the things you have cooked taste as they are.
    A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire."


  16. What a charming and interesting post. I am glad to learn about this film and would very much like to see it. The fact that so much emotion is demonstrated shows the great importance and artistry the French put on such skills and crafts. And of course that is why they excel....

    Your salad and lamb meal looks outstanding, and the ambiance of the restaurant so delightfully old world. I so agree with you about the old French tradition of simplicity and quality; it is evident is so many aspects of the Gallic arts de vivre.


  17. Carol, your blog is such a stand-out. It's not just your gorgeous artwork, it's the whole ambience you've created. Such a special place.

  18. The trailer alone was hysterical! I cannot begin to imagine the stress of competition! It's hard enough getting a meal for 4 on the table when every course is make-ahead and it's only the family!
    LOVE those reflections in the chocolate dome - looks like window highlights.

  19. I loved the trailer and only hope I will be able to see it here in Australia~fantastique!! and I love the way they refer to it as "Culinary hurt locker" loved this post Carol.

  20. Hi Carol,

    Kings of pastry...what can I say..
    After watching it and wiping my tears away, I wished I was a man,a Frenchman, a chef, a damn good pastrychef being able to receive a MOF. Instead....I will try to climp the Mount Everest.

  21. You are the Queen of Pastry art!

  22. I would love to see this film and see how they make all those beautiful and delicious treats.


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