After several seasons of "Top Chef" and its spin-offs, it is easy to forget that there is a long tradition in France of real-life cooking competitions, grueling kitchen marathons that chefs spend years preparing for. "Kings of Pastry" is a new documentary which follows chefs competing in the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, a tournament of perfect pastry and serious skills, blissfully free of any mention of the Glad family of products.
The film follows Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of Chicago's French Pastry School, through an intense three days of making themed cakes, candies, six-foot sugar sculptures, pastry and more with strict specifications and time limits. Unlike "Top Chef," the competition is really between each chef and himself — rather than the other chefs — as each one strives for perfection and the coveted blue, white and red MOF collar.
Towering cakes, shattering chocolate scuptures, camaraderie, talent and tears: "Kings of Pastry" will remind you what a real cooking competition looks like.
• Watch the trailer: Kings of Pastry
(Image: Paul Strabbing/First Run Features)