The Head Pastry Chef at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée in Paris, Jessica Préalpato, has been voted The World’s Best Pastry Chef 2019. Préalpato receives her award, which is sponsored by Sosa, in advance of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 awards ceremony, which takes place on 25 June in Singapore. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, is a celebration of the pinnacle of global gastronomy, bringing together a unique community of world-leading chefs, restaurateurs, foodlovers and global media for the Oscars of the dining world.
Born into a family of pastry cooks, dessert was always going to be a key player in Préalpato’s life. Growing up in Mont de Marsan, she first pursued a degree in psychology, before realising her true calling: to create natural desserts. Her work majors in the best use of seasonal produce, creating plates that are high in flavour, but also light on the palate.
“We are very excited to announce Jessica Préalpato as the recipient of The World’s Best Pastry Chef award, sponsored by Sosa,” says William Drew, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. “Her creativity and devotion to the world of food and the art of baking makes her the perfect recipient of this award. Her cooking is absolutely of the moment: the way she manipulates natural sugars without sacrificing flavour chimes perfectly with the restaurant’s ideology and the cultural zeitgeist to cut down on sugar intake.”
Préalpato says: “It is an absolute honour to be recognised as The World’s Best Pastry Chef. As the daughter of two pastry chefs, I have been immersed in the world of culinary arts my entire life. This award represents my life journey and the passion I have for this art. I hope this award inspires emerging pastry chefs around the world.”
Préalpato began her career in the kitchen at La Chèvre d’Or in Eze where she worked under Philippe Labbé. After several positions in restaurants in southwestern France, Préalpato then joined Frédéric Vardon’s team for the opening of the 39V restaurant in Paris, before moving to the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme. In November 2012, Frédéric Vardon offered her a position as Chef Pâtissière for the Corfou Group. During her tenure, she travelled throughout France and other parts of the world, including Dubai, Tokyo, Beirut and St. Petersburg. She learned extensively about other cultures and discovered new types of produce and styles of cooking, which she incorporated into her culinary repertoire.
In November 2015, she joined the staff at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée as Pastry Chef, working under chef de cuisine Romain Meder. At the acclaimed Parisian restaurant, currently ranked No.13 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 list, she has further built her repertoire and reputation.
Préalpato’s signature dishes include strawberry clafoutis with frosted pine and Millason cake, and ‘figue’, which features figs cooked three ways with a fig ice cream and a light biscuit. She recently published Desseralité, her book on creative approaches to fruit-based desserts, which was released in November 2018.
Quico Sosa, CEO of Sosa Ingredients, comments: “We are dedicated to supporting chefs across the globe, and this award is the perfect opportunity to recognise the influence pastry chefs have on today’s gastronomic culture. Jessica’s dedication to her work is truly inspiring and she shares the same vision of modern and sustainable gastronomy with Sosa: more texture, more taste, less sugar and less fat. We support and acknowledge her expertise as The World’s Best Pastry Chef 2019.”
In receiving this award, Préalpato joins an elite group of world-class pastry chefs, including 2018 winner Cédric Grolet, 2017 winner Dominique Ansel, 2016 winner Pierre Hermé and 2015 winner Albert Adrià in The World’s Best Pastry Chef hall of fame.
The selection process The World’s Best Pastry Chef is voted for by more than 1,000 international restaurant industry experts and well-travelled gourmets who make up The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy. The Academy comprises 26 separate regions around the world, each of which has 40 members, including a chairperson. None of the event’s sponsors has any influence over the voting process.