French chef crowned World’s Best Pastry Chef 2019
- Credit: Iannis G/REA
The head pastry chef was announced as the winner by a panel of international restaurant industry experts and well-travelled gourmets
A leading pastry chef who works at the Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée restaurant in Paris has been voted The World's Best Pastry Chef 2019.
Jessica Préalpato was born into a family of pastry cooks and grew up in Mont-de-Marsan in Landes. Her creations focus on seasonal produce and are high in flavour as well as being light on the palate.
Jessica began her career in the kitchen at La Chèvre d'Or in Èze, Alpes-Maritimes, where she worked under Philippe Labbé. After several positions in restaurants in south-west France, she then joined Frédéric Vardon's team for the opening of the 39V restaurant in Paris, before moving to the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme.
In 2012, 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 Saint Petersburg where she learned extensively about other cultures and discovered new types of produce and styles of cooking, which she has incorporated into her culinary repertoire.
In 2015, Jessica joined the staff at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée as pastry chef, working under chef de cuisine Romain Meder.
She says: "It is an absolute honour to be recognised as The World's Best Pastry Chef.
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"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."
Jessica received 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 world-leading chefs, restaurateurs and food lovers for the 'Oscars of the dining world'.
William Drew, director of content for The World's 50 Best Restaurants, said: "We are very excited to announce Jessica Préalpato as the recipient of The World's Best Pastry Chef award.
"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."
Jessica's signature dishes include strawberry clafoutis with frosted pine and Millasson 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.
In receiving the award, Jessica 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.