Wednesday, June 29, 2011


At the end of April I cut the cable cord. I'm proud to announce that I'm still cable free. Another round of Top Chef Masters happened without me. I'm pretty sure out of the three finalists (Traci Des Jardins, Mary Sue Milliken, and Floyd Cardoz) you can guess who were not the winners. But that's OK because sometime you catch something that's pretty amazing that you might have missed before. If you want to see insane pressure and a lot of French men crying you might want to check out the documentary Kings of Pastry over on PBS.

This is Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer. He is one of three chefs that the documentary follows as they compete in the M.O.F., or the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman of France). The M.O.F. finals for pastry chefs is an excruciating three day competition where sixteen chefs compete, not with each other but against themselves. All sixteen could win but I doubt that's ever happened. Not only is there no cash prize but once you get past the semifinal and are selected as one of the sixteen to compete at the finals, you spend a great deal of time and money preparing, practicing and honing your skills. Skills like glass blowing. The object above? That's not a piece of art glass, that's sugar.

Looks like botany also helps. All recipes are prepared at the site of the competition in that three day stretch. It's a brutal exercise these chefs put themselves through.

This is Chef Philippe Rigollot as a normal person...

...and this is Phillipe's brain after the M.O.F.

I highly suggest you see why poor Phillipe ends up looking like this and just how many of the competitors end up wearing the red, white and blue collar. One suggestion though.... a huge meal before watching or at the very least, have easy access to a good pastry shop.


MakingSpace said...

I'd be up for watching men crying right now. And eating a huge meal shouldn't be a problem.

Glad you found something to show us - this competition looks interesting, and has a historical element that the made-for-TV ones lack.

And - men crying over stuff. Bonus.

Dani said...

That flower in the second picture is amazing! Makes me think you need surgeon skills to create something like that.

Big Shamu said...

Dani, it's amazing the work they do. The chef even developed a base with shock absorbers.

MS, it's an incredible competition, not just for pastry chefs. All sorts of trades