Documenting the collaboration between world renowned chef Yotam Ottolenghi (Jerusalem, Plenty) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, this feature film follows five visionary pastry makers as they endeavor to construct an extravagant food gala based on the art exhibit “Visitors to Versailles.”
First, our movie kicks off with the foundation of the story and who the five pastry makers are. It was insightful to figure out who each of them is, what they do, and what it is like to be involved with such a huge project.
One thing you learn early, each of them has their preference of how they want their kitchen and what the little things that affect what they are trying to accomplished. One of the issues you hear about is the quality of the smell of the kitchen, which for someone like me who has no sense of smell, my mind was blown.
Here we begin to see them put the pieces together, but as they are telling the back story of Versailles and how the food, as delicious as it, maybe was more of a prop than anything. They would have this display of beautiful and artistic pastries and mostly would go uneaten.
‘If you take a chicken and put it in the over, you get a chicken.’
In this case, I was thrown off by this comment because it was so factual at this moment and understanding the difference in cooking and the art itself. The massive amounts of ingredients that go into making the cake, and after that, the prepping and putting it together are mind-blowing to watch and understand.
Later we see the cakes on display, and they were absolutely breathtaking. The public display of their art and how the beautiful stories unfolded, it was just mesmerizing to see this wonderful conclusion.
Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles is a subtle but yet powerful look at how food, culture, and history can come together.
Jacob is a film critic and co-founder of the Music City Drive-In. He is a member of the Music City Film Critics’ Association and specializes in the awards season. You can find him on Twitter @Tberry57.