Jessica Préalpato, Pastry chef at Restaurant Alain Ducasse, Plaza Athénée Paris, best pastry chef of the year 2019 opened a new way about naturalness in pastry.
How do you view sustainable development in the pastry industry?
First, we really need to be close to the fruits seasons. In season they are packed with vitamins that are good for our body. This approach is also in line with respect for our environment, the products and growers. Finally, we need to be aware of production and traceability of the products we use in our pastries.
We need to learn to unlearn as they say with respect to what is taught in schools about artificial colouring and coating. Will the training programmes change?
It’s quite simple to make your own coating. Either naturally, with quince pips or using pectin. We need to start saying ‘let’s do it’, the worse that can happen is that you will fail, the best that can happen is that you learn a new way of doing things. Natural colouring and flavouring agents are not for me. There are many ways to extract the intense flavours from products. As for colouring agents, you simply need to inform the customers. A mint sorbet will be white or slightly green when blended because an infusion of mint does not yield a deep green colour. We need to explain our approach to our customers.
Do you use fermentation? Herbs, plants, flowers, cereals… what’s your passion of the moment?
I’m new to fermentation and only use it if it is useful to my dessert. I like fermenting fruit juices as they confer interesting acidity. At this time, I’m fermenting apples in grape must.
What do you think of the role played by the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie in supporting this approach, in particular with the vegetal plate that was introduced for the 30th anniversary?
We need a prestigious event such as the Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie to spread the message worldwide. The vegetal plate is really interesting. Animal proteins will be less important in a few years’ time. Vegetal and vegetal proteins are the future. We must respect Mother Nature.