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Tuesday, June 21 at 10 p.m. – POV "Kings of Pastry"

(Rochester, NY) – WXXI presents the new documentary from the award-winning filmmaking team of Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker (Don’t Look Back, The War Room), a remarkable and never-before-filmed world, where sugar is the stuff of fantasy, high drama and joy. POV "Kings of Pastry," airing on Tuesday, June 21 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11) follows chefs: Pfeiffer, Lazard and Rigollot. And because the men — who are among the 16 semifinalists in competition — also serve as the film’s protagonists, they reveal what it feels like to risk both pride and reputation in a grueling quest to be named one of the “kings of pastry.”

As an internationally celebrated pastry chef and co-founder of the highly regarded French Pastry School in Chicago, Jacquy Pfeiffer might be expected to feel supremely confident when it comes to all things French and sweet. But his self-assurance turns poignantly vulnerable as he contemplates entering the finals of the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (Best Craftsmen of France) competition in pastry making. Pfeiffer is hardly alone. Other accomplished pastry chefs, such as Regis Lazard in Luxembourg and Philippe Rigollot of Maison Pic, France’s only three-star restaurant owned by a woman, appear daunted as they get ready to go for the prize — the right to wear the distinctive tri-color Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (M.O.F.) collar. Even the judges and coaches, all previous winners, turn unashamedly weepy as they reflect on the trials faced by the finalists — and recall their own struggles — in this Olympics of pastry making.

Filmmakers and married couple Hegedus and Pennebaker received unprecedented access from the M.O.F. organization to film the three-day contest in Lyons, France, including not only the event’s public presentations but also the behind-the-scenes cooking and judging. Chefs Pfeiffer, Lazard and Rigollot were eager to share their preparations — and private feelings — in the lead-up to the competition. Kings of Pastry follows Pfeiffer to his childhood home of Alsace, where he spends weeks creating and testing recipes in the bakery shop of an old friend. Lazard, who is competing for the second time — he tragically dropped his sugar sculpture the first time — and Rigollot, who emerges as a favorite among contestants and judges alike, undertake similar preparations.

WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.