99% Food, 1% Skin

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!

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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.

The movie felt like a cross between SOMM and Jiro Dreams of Sushi – it showed the intensity of the competition, similar to the Master Sommelier’s exam, yet showcasing beautiful food as in Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

The movie was very honest and nerve-wrecking at the same time, it had achieved its goal to display what it took to be the best in a field.

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Among all the hot pot specialty stores in Bellevue, Boiling Point may just be one of the older ones, and I believe the only one in downtown Bellevue area.

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It is a California-based chain store which has expanded into Washington State with 4 stores around the Greater Seattle area.

One thing that set Boiling Point apart from all the hot pot shops is that all the mini hot pots are pre-set: certain soup bases come with certain meats, vegetables and noodles, no substitution, no changes.

WP_20150415_11_06_07_ProI found that a little rigid; in fact, Boiling Point may be one of the most restrictive restaurants I had been.

Each mini pot came with an iced tea drink, much like Macau Dalao; but if you wanted hot tea, it was not free!

The pictures on the menu were also a little deceiving.

They gave the perception  that the soup was nice and thick; in reality, they were very brothy.

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upper: tomato hot pot — lower: curry hot pot

I chose the curry flavor one because I wanted curry fish balls, and my friend ordered the tomato flavor, and both looked more or less the same.

The broth was tasty enough, and the content of the hot pots were standard fare: sliced meat, vegetables, some had processed fish products, others had tofu.

The most interesting one was a pickled vegetable soup with pork.

Their portion was even smaller than Macau Dalao; all the food were already inside the hot pan and pre-cooked for you; the pan was fairly shallow.

My guess was that they tried to make it up with the big bowl of rice.

Boiling Point sells their own garlic soy sauce and hot sauce; and the garlic soy is pretty good.

According to their website, some of the Boiling Point stores served shaved ice and macaroon ice cream, unfortunately no such luck for the Bellevue location.

My sister used to like going to Boiling Point; at least now I can say I tried.

I still much preferred Little Sheep with their delicious rich soup, hand-made balls and lamb skewers!

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