The film was to start at 7:00 pm. I hate to be late to anything, so we got there around 6:00 pm, parked the car and found the proper line--
The weather was nice, if a bit windy. Through the upstairs window of the Carolina Theatre where the festival is held, we could see our buddies from the Wine Authorities pouring champagne for the VIP reception. None for us, though. We aren't VIPs. But we were happy anyway!
We were sixth in a line that stretched for about a city block. The un-ex had no idea so many people would line up for this movie. I tried to warn him... When he came to France to visit me during my sabbatical, I took him to Le Florimond, a restaurant in the 7e arrondissment I discovered when in Paris with the Arles 6 (merci, Alex!). I photographed our food, bien sûr, and here's his dessert...
We got very good seats, only two rows back from the filmmakers and the star of the film and his wife. I had a great view of the backs of their heads! I brought my trusty French cahier or notebook (being held by my equally trusty assistant above) and a pen to take notes. My next newspaper article will be about my impressions of the film, so I won't go into detail here except to say that I LOVED every second of the movie.
The subject is the MOF (Meilleurs Ouvriers de France) competition for pastry chefs that takes place every four years in Lyon. The film features Jacquy Pfeiffer, a French pastry chef who lives in Chicago, as he prepares for the competition and then competes in the three day event. As half of one of his "practice" cakes went into the trashcan after being tasted by his coaches, I wanted to jump right in after it. And film maker D A Pennebaker backed me up on that one during the question and answer session following the film. A combination of pastry, chocolate, French and France for 84 minutes. What's not to love?
(Filmmakers Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus and Chef Jacquy on stage after the film)
And, alas, I was not invited to the opening night party (not a VIP, remember?) and did not get to gawk at or drool over the 70 pound chocolate creation Chef Jacquy made for the occasion. (One of my 7th grade students did see it, though, and has promised a photo...)
Check out the film's website and watch a clip of the movie to whet your appetite--
I won't divulge details and spoil it for you. It is a must-see for anyone who loves food and has ever baked a cake. I will own a copy of it as soon as possible!
Bon appétit, Kings of Pastry!