The Sweet Spot

Pastry chef Laurent Dellac dishes on dessert.

Neal Turnage Current PSL, Restaurants

The tropical Pavlova dessert at Le Vallauris Restaurant is sweet, soft, and fruity 
with a bit of zing.

Sin and guilt are the decadence of life. When you indulge the former, the latter follows. But in one glorious instance — dessert — the two join in conceit and concert, and that sweet sensation reminds you that life is good.

None of this is lost on Laurent Dellac, the pastry chef at Le Vallauris Restaurant in Palm Springs. You might be unable to pronounce the names of some of his desserts, but that only makes them better. One bite of his tropical Pavlova and you won’t care what it’s called or how to say it. Grab a fork and start checking off all your dessert requirements: crunchy, soft, sweet, and fruity with a tiny bit of zing.

The confection begins with exotic pineapple cooked to perfection with dark rum and vanilla. That’s topped with coconut sorbet. Then comes the Pavlova.

“It’s a style of meringue named after the famed Russian ballerina,” Dellac explains. For this dessert, he quickly cooks the meringue at a high temperature. “That creates a crunchy exterior texture with an inside that’s pillowy soft like a marshmallow.”

Next comes a hit of passion fruit–mango coulis and a sprinkling of shaved coconut. Sliced kiwi adds show-stopping brightness to the presentation. But wait! One last coup de grâce makes the dish dazzle: Drizzles of vanilla Chantilly crown each delectable bite.

What next, you may ask. There’s an easy answer: You close your eyes. The taste lingers on your tongue. And just like that, you’re feelin’ it.


Laurent Dellac, the pastry chef at Le Vallauris Restaurant in Palm Springs.