By Sam Bridge
Jessica Prealpato, pastry chef, and Thomas Pesquet, astronaut, have been named as ambassadors for French Pavilion at Expo 2020
France has unveiled two ambassadors - an astronaut and a chef - for its pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The French Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai said in a statement that Jessica Préalpato, pastry chef, and Thomas Pesquet, astronaut, fully "embody its values of boldness and French art de vivre".
“The support that Jessica Préalpato and Thomas Pesquet are providing to the French Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai illustrates our capacity for technological innovation, as well as the French art de vivre and all its expertise. These two incredible personalities complement each other in how they represent the wealth of our offering in the French Pavilion,” said Erik Linquier, Commissioner General for the French Pavilion and president of Cofrex.
He added that France’s presence at Expo 2020 Dubai is an essential opportunity for creating new economic development, accelerating its attractiveness as a country, and officially launching new innovative and sustainable projects.
Based in the Mobility area, France will share its vision of mobility for the future, which is more environmentally-friendly and designed to help all its citizens. It will also present its plans for designing and building landscapes that are connected and suited to everyone’s needs.
The ambassadors will embody the country’s vision for Expo 2020 Dubai, and their involvement with the project and the contribution of their expertise will enable France to shine on the international stage.
Préalpato, who was named the World’s Best Pastry Chef in 2019 by the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards, is the Pastry Chef at the Alain Ducasse restaurant in the Plaza Athénée.
Her approach – known as desseralité – is nature-oriented and based entirely on producers’ seasonal offerings. Through her innovative approach to pastry, she promotes short food supply chains and the circular economy, which benefit small producers and showcase the wealth of local produce.
“Being a part of the French Pavilion adventure is an opportunity for me to represent the culinary daring that has become an important part of our cultural heritage. As I’m committed to healthier and more environmentally friendly food, I am proud to promote the French ‘art de vivre’ on the international stage.” she said.
As part of the Proxima mission, Pesquet lived and worked on board the International Space Station from November 2016 to June 2017. Spurred on by the belief that our future on Earth depends on a better knowledge of space, he sought to illustrate this vision and raise awareness for all generations by sharing the photographs he took of the Earth.
His next flight into orbit around the blue planet is scheduled for summer 2021.
“The French Pavilion and this World Expo project are a great match for the social and environmental challenges our generation is facing, and these issues have always been close to my heart. They are the same values that I would like to convey through my involvement with the French Pavilion,” he said.
The concept for the pavilion was unveiled in Paris in March 2019 and the foundation stone laid at the Expo site in Dubai on May by Elisabeth Borne, the Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition. It is now under construction and will combine unique architecture, immersive staging and design that respects environmental issues, while committing to sustainability by being fully portable and reusable after the Expo.