A feast for the eyes, with enough stunning creations to make your head spin, this absorbing documentary about the history of patisserie is also surprisingly in-depth. Michel Roux Jr, named after the patron saint of patissiers, proffers fact after fact about patisserie’s part in France’s social and political history, ultimately defining it as a culinary example of the democratisation of luxury.
In Paris, the amiable chef tries the exquisite macaroons of the ‘Dior of Desserts’ Pierre Hermé, traces the theatre of pastry to the first celebrity chef Carême, visits Lenôtre’s highly-regarded training school and gets lost in Conticini’s Pastry Shop of Dreams. In London, he visits William Curley, whose innovative creations are elevating desserts to new levels here in the UK.
Roux Jr is an ideal presenter: knowledgable, approachable, and with an insatiable passion for his subject. He remains fascinated by the artistry involved and stresses the intrinsic connection between food, emotion, memory and family. ‘Without patisserie, life would go on,’ he concludes. ‘But how would we celebrate it?’