Paul Strabbing
Chefs Jacquy Pfeiffer and Sébastien Canonne at the French Pastry School in Chicago, as seen in "Kings of Pastry," a film by Chris Hegedus.
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Curated Culinary Classics

Beverly Stephen / July 15th, 2013

Are you still kicking yourself because you missed catching Kings of Pastry? Or El Bulli: Cooking in Progress?

Your worries are over. Now you can see these and seven other important culinary documentaries through SundanceNow’s Doc Club, which offers streaming access throughout the month of July for a nominal subscription fee. The selection was curated by Thom “Mr. Documentary” Powers, the curator of the Toronto International Film Festival and artistic director of the IFC Center’s Stranger Than Fiction series. He’s done all the work of selecting the best films to watch and collected them in one place. He described the collection as “what’s special in the vast array of food television.” Imagine if you had Ralph Lauren acting as your personal shopper.

Le Cirque threw a party last week to celebrate their own documentary, A Table in Heaven, and the 55th anniversary of Sirio Maccioni’s arrival in New York City. A number of the documentary directors and restaurateurs involved in the various films were in attandance.

Roger Sherman, director of The Restaurateur, which follows New York über restaurateur Danny Meyer, noted happily that this is the “first time the film has been readily available.” Chris Hegedus (Kings of Pastry) concurred: “It’s nice to see your children graduate from high school.”

All of these filmmakers spent considerable time with their subjects to make these films that one might describe as a labor of love. “It’s like you marry the girl you love,” says Hegedus, “You make the film you love.”

Sally Rowe spent eight years on and off, interspersed with more lucrative work, following Paul Liebrandt for A Matter of Taste. Andrew Rossi practically lived with the Maccioni family for over a year.

Other documentaries in the series include Jean-Paul Jaud’s Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution, Kate Novack and Andrew Rossi’s Eat This New York, Lutz Hachmeister’s Three Stars, and Mark Becker and Jennifer Grausman’s Pressure Cooker.

Each month the Doc Club explores a different theme, and an archive of all previous months is available at no extra cost to subscribers.

Learn more and subscribe here.