Ottolenghi And The Cakes Of Versailles

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Our First Feature Length Doc

Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles – Official Trailer | HD | IFC Films

We went into this with an open mind to create a stylist food piece that exceeded our expectations in every way. This doc features a plethora of experienced international chefs that came to create genre bending desserts. It takes places in 3 countries, France, England and NY. We had the honor of being able to have the MET exclusively to ourselves for the final act of the film. This was our first doc, but not our last. Were excited to grow and develop beyond this into a new future for OP.

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Ottolenghi And The Cakes Of Versailles Review: Pastries Of The Gilded Age Made Modern

This documentary follows the star chef Yotam Ottolenghi as he assembles a crack team to make sweets for an event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versaille
Directed by Laura Gabbert

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Did you know that drinkable chocolate predated the chocolate bar? Its one of the many historical tidbits dropped for your delectation in Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles, a fun documentary directed by Laura Gabbert.

In 2018, the renowned Israeli-born chef Yotam Ottolenghi was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to reimagine the sweet stuff enjoyed by the court of French royalty in the period from 1682 to 1789. After which said royalty encountered an inconvenience: the French Revolution.

While for some the excesses of Versailles serve as a cautionary tale and why not the voluble, enthusiastic Ottolenghi wanted to emphasize the openness of public life in that period with this project.

Some personality clashes also ensue. Dinara Kasko, a Ukrainian architect-turned-pastry chef, has cocoa butter mansplained to her by a pushy kitchen operative. She scraps the work she did under his prying eye, and redoes it her way when hes not around.

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Ottolenghi And The Cakes Of Versailles: A Visual Feast But Doco Lacks Flavour

Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles Directed by Laura Gabbert ***

He doesnt possess the child-like enthusiasm of Heston, the naughtiness of Nigella, or the sheer sweariness of Gordon, but something about Yotam Ottolenghi has struck a chord with foodies around the globe.

As this enlightening, erudite, but ultimately a little too ethereal documentary informs us, over the last few years, the Jerusalem-born chef has become one of the UKs favourite cookery writers and a restaurateuring phenomenon.

On the lookout for a new challenge, he finds it in an invitation from New Yorks Metropolitan Museum of Art. They want him to help create a food gala inspired by their latest exhibition Visitors to Versailles.

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As the holder of a Masters in Art Philosophy, its an opportunity he finds hard to resist. However, its not something he wishes to tackle alone. Assembling a diverse team of pastry chefs from around the globe everyone from British jelly experts Sam Bompas and Harry Parr to Cronut creator Dominique Ansel and Ukrainian architectural cakemaker Dinara Kasko he aims to create a dessert feast that will transport diners back in time to 18th Century France, when the famed palace was the centre of European culture and power.

Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles opens in select cinemas nationwide on January 7.

Review: ‘ottolenghi And The Cakes Of Versailles’ Offers A Deeper Cut Than Likely Intended


Criticism should strive to be evergreen, but criticism and objects of critique can almost never be divorced from their context: the context in which a film was made, and the context in which a film is viewed by a critic. Six months into a global pandemic, the charming documentary Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles, about a high-end pastry party at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, startled me with the sense of a frustratingly intangible very recent history. Remember museums? Events? Sharing unfettered indoor space with strangers? Let this documentary take you back to that world, which is so close, yet so far away.

The film is directed by Laura Gabbert, who has carved out a niche for herself in the food-cinema world, having directed the Jonathan Gold documentary City of Gold and an episode of Ugly Delicious . Her work is about culture, because food is culture, and Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles sits at a tantalizing intersection of food, art and history. Its the story of a remarkable event at the Met that inadvertently becomes shockingly prescient.

Its not until the cake plates are cleared that Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles directly addresses the elephant in the room, which is where Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVIs tale ends: at the guillotine. Tremendous inequality led the French to revolt against their 1% who hoarded wealth while the people lacked flour for bread. Manhattans shiny skyscrapers loom ominously over this discussion.

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Ottolenghi And The Cakes Of Versailles

Celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi assembles a star-studded team of the world’s most innovative pastry chefs to put on a Versailles-themed culinary gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Yotam Ottolenghi helped bring this documentary to life. With his experience as a first-class chef, he was able to bring pastry chefs from all around the world with one mission…to create. With world renowned chefs, innovative desserts, and a world class museum we had everything we needed make this doc a reality.

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