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Category archives: Food Media

Kings of Pastry and Boiling Point

Do you want to drool over some super delicious-looking pastries and cakes?

Or do you want to see the inner workings of highly-skilled French pastry chefs?

If you say yes to any of these questions, then Kings of Pastry may be the documentary for you!


This film was about the pastry section of the once every four-year Meilleur Ouvrier de France competition, open for all ambitious pastry chefs who want the title of the best craftsmen in France.

The Meilleur Ouvrier de France is a French government-recognized honor for not only pastry chefs, but clockmakers, glassmakers, wood workers, hairdressers to name a few, out of the 15 categories of skills that can be awarded at this highest honor.

In short, they referred to this honor as MOF, and apparently it is a prosecutable offense in France if one was caught impersonating as MOF.

Sixteen finalists are selected every four years, and this documentary followed three of them, with one of them particularly at length since he is one the faculty members of the French Pastry School in Chicago.

In the Greater Seattle area, we have pastry chefs from Crumble and Flake and Midori who graduated from this prestige pastry school.

Scenes after scenes of the amazing pull sugar sculptures, mini mouth-watering pastries, chocolates, lollipops and cakes, I was ooing and ahhing a lot. Continue reading →

Parfait and Food Chain

Just released in Netflix, I was expecting to watch a movie on the usual food related subjects such as animal mistreatment, environmental damages, unhealthy American diet and neglect from agriculture etc.

I was pleasantly surprised that this documentary was about the social impact on people, specifically farm workers.

It was about the historic exploitation of different migrant farm worker group, and the documentary gave an overview of the current supply chain structure that had perpetuated this exploitation.

The tomato industry was the focus for this movie, but problems existed all across our different agricultural products including grape harvesting for California vineyards.

Continue reading →

The Language of Food, The Butcher and The Baker

What a neat book!

It was full of surprises, and moments of “geeking out” from our linguist author Dan Jurafsky.

I was expecting a book about the evolution of terminology and language usage on menus in restaurants, and potentially boring.

Instead, it contained interesting history of food (the origin of ketchup, macaroon and sherbet for instance), and findings from academic linguistic research (apparently, the more words on the menu about where food comes from, the higher price we pay).

There were geek-out moments such as the relationship between the physical movement of our mouths during word pronunciation and our perception of sweetness or amount of carbonation.

Explanations were given to why Chinese traditionally did not have dessert, and the transformation in the usage of “entrée” for different culture.

The topics were very specific, and the book barely wet my appetite for wanting more information.

Continue reading →