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Although William Ledeuil was originally destined to become a head of a company, it was fate that led him to FERRANDI Paris, the École Supérieure de Cuisine Française, in 1984.
He went on to learn the trade alongside Michelin-starred chefs before opening his first restaurant with his wife Marie-Christine in 2001.
He created a distinctive Asian-inspired cuisine featuring vegetables, citrus fruit and deep, delicate broths. A few years later, together with his wife, he opened Kitchen Galerie Bis (KGB) in 2009, followed by Kitchen Ter(re) in 2017.
Born in Japan, Keiko Nagae studied French language and culture in France. She simultaneously took pastry classes before being hired by Ladurée. In 2002, she joined Pierre Gagnaire in London as a pastry chef. Back in France, she worked with Yannick Alleno and then Michel Troisgros before joining Pierre Gagnaire in his restaurant in Paris.
In 2012, she set up her own company, AROME - Conseil en Pâtisserie, and has been involved in a number of gastronomic projects around the world.
Exploring AlUla is a truly amazing experience. It intertwines the beauty of its natural sites with that of its thousand-year-old historic sites. This exceptional landscape makes you want to immerse yourself in the heart of history to better understand the essence of the place.
I was delighted to discover the oasis gardens, a collaborative effort to promote biodiversity. The Citrus Festival is a must-see event in the region. It provides an opportunity to discover the wealth of locally-grown produce: fruits, vegetables and aromatic herbs.
AlUla really leaves you speechless. It's a magical place. Before I came here, I could have never imagined the incredible richness of the produce grown in this oasis. And these magnificent landscapes with their infinite range of colours… It's a place that is both majestic and rejuvenating.
In Hegra, the monumental Nabataean tombs carved into the rock are a unique sight. The beauty of these tombs makes you wonder how this civilisation could have built such an exceptional site. AlUla is an incredibly rich region, and there is still so much to discover.
Bénédicte and Michel Baches introduced us to a wide range of citrus fruit varieties. The oasis has a unique potential. Thanks to cooperation and exchanges, new varieties can be developed. I was also lucky enough to taste around ten different varieties of dates, another of the oasis' great treasures!
I see great potential! At the moment, the produce is eaten fresh or pressed into juice. You can also find the fruit preserved, in jam form for example.
But there are plenty of processing possibilities that would optimise the preservation of the fruit and enhance its flavour.
If AlUla were a dish, it would undoubtedly be a yuzu and date marmalade. Yuzu is a marvellous Japanese citrus fruit that will be grown extensively in AlUla.
I can imagine it being a very fresh dessert, with a variety of textures and the addition of local spices. It would combine all the varieties of citrus fruit you can find in the region!
I'm thinking of a new take on a vacherin, accompanied with a spiced citrus salad and orange blossom water ice cream, topped with an airy chantilly made from labne concentrate.
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