Saturday, July 29, 2023

Weekend Cooking/Paris in July: Sugar and Stars (À la belle étoile)

I have mentioned a few times now about how I am trying to see at least one film from the various foreign film festivals that are held in Melbourne each year. Earlier this year, there were so many films at the French Film Festival that I would have liked to have seen, but I didn't have enough time. I am therefore very glad that they have had a wider release and I have been able to see a couple more. A couple of weeks ago I went off to see Driving Madeline and last weekend I went to the movies by myself to see Sugar and Stars. There were only a 4 people in the cinema, but the theatre complex was busy with most people opting to see the Barbie movie! Lots of people dressed in pink!!

So many times we hear about how sport has lifted someone out of poverty. In this case, it was food, in particular pastry, that was the mechanism. Our story begins with a small boy who we meet as he is helping himself to the ingredients that he needs to make a cake for his mum. We watch Yazid grows up. His childhood is tough. His mother is neglectful and he spends a number of years being cared for by a foster family who encourage his love of cooking but he ends up in what looks like a reform school. The one passion that keeps him going is his love of pastry and he is going to do everything he can, even if it means having to catch  a train 180km to get to a job every day.

Yazid is obsessed. In order to keep a job he has to create an amazing looking black forest dessert that's created by a master pastry chef. He doesn't get it exactly right the first time but the chef sees enough there to keep him on the job. Yazid then practices and practices until he has it perfect in every way. This attention to detail holds him in good stead, but there are times when he experiences racism and bullying in the kitchens he works in. His economic situation doesn't help. At one stage he is working in a top restaurant in the south of France and yet he is sleeping on the beach.

This is the story of a man who chased his dream, all the way to the top, culminating in participating in the International Pastry Championships. Once you work out who is who in the movie, it is an uplifting and inspiring story, made even better by the fact that it is based on a true story. The movie is based on the autobiography by Yazid Ichemrahen, and at the end we get to see the pictures of the actual chef whose story we have just seen. Any movie that you see that has a part where you get to find out what happens next to the real people involved is always better in my mind.

For all that the story is good, the food porn in this film is pretty amazing. From eggs being dropped into flour, to melting chocolate, gorgeous fruit, and amazingly beautiful creations that look so extravagant and beautiful it is a visual delight!

I am sharing this post for Weekend Cooking but also for Paris in July hosted by Emma at Words and Peace.

Weekly meals

Saturday -  Baked Ratatouille and Beans
Sunday -  Smoky Sausage and Rice
Monday - Chicken Shwarma
Tuesday - Pork chops, mash, beans and gravy
Wednesday - Pressure cooker spag bol
Thursday - Cheese on toast
Friday - Takeaway

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. Thanks for sharing the video clip and review of Sugar and Stars- it looks interesting ! Also thanks for hosting this weekend get together and share.

    1. Thank you for your ongoing participation.

  2. wow, sounds fabulous! I hope it will be available soon on streaming or DVD

    1. I hope you get to watch it at some point Emma

  3. Hi - Did you remove my link to Weekend Cooking?

    1. Hi Judee

      No I didn't remove it. I didn't see it in the linky at all. Can you readd it?

  4. I love your meal plan for the week :-)



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