Euronews accompanied Chef Jessica Prealpato, who was visiting Dubai for Expo 2020 preparations, in the kitchen of Brasserie Boulud at the Sofitel Obelisk. The award-winning chef was chosen as the representative of the French Pavilion at the fair in Dubai. This isn’t the first time his culinary skills have been recognized. In 2019, the French chef was named ‘World’s Best Pastry Chef’ at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards.
Following in the footsteps of his family, who owned a bakery and a pastry shop, Préalpato studied at the famous tourism school in Biarritz. Currently, he works as Pastry Chef at the three-Michelin-Star Alain Ducasse restaurant in Plaza Athénée. His cooking style fits chef Alain Ducasse’s concept of “naturalité”. This approach promotes healthy eating while preserving the naturalness of taste. For desserts that are traditionally high in sugar, she prefers strawberries and honey as natural sweeteners.
“They are great people and we need to help them,” Préalpato speaks passionately about local produce and producers. Consistent with Prealpato’s Expo 2020 theme, the cooking style promotes sustainability and the use of eco-friendly materials. Combining seasonal fruits with local ingredients is one way to achieve this for Prealpato.
The inspiration for Prealpato’s dessert to be presented at the French Pavilion was the warm climate of Dubai. The successful chef wanted to make a cool and refreshing dessert against the high temperatures of Dubai. He talked in detail about the local dates in the region. Préalpato used these dates in his recipe to add sweetness because his highly developed sense of taste and discriminating could detect the different flavors of French and Dubai watermelons.
With Expo 2020 five months away, Préalpato says this dessert will likely change compared to its first version. He mentions replacing the watermelon with other fruits that taste the same in every part. “When I make desserts in France, I have to spend a lot of time. I need 3-4 weeks to make a dessert that all people will love.”