The 10th edition of the gala dinner was held at Atlantis The Palm on November 15, and included an hour-long performance by the singer and a delectable feast by some of Dubai's best chefs
First look at JLo's performance at the delicious Dinner to the Stars gala in Dubai
A gala dinner fit for royalty, high-profile business leaders and an A-list celebrity: the Dubai Airshow Gala dinner, held at Atlantis The Palm on November 15, was nothing short of amazing.
Some 3,000 invited guests, including singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, put on their best attire for the Dinner with the Stars theme. Now in its 10th year, the dinner has been described as the highlight of the social calendar in the UAE.
And indeed, no stone was left unturned for the soirée, as preparations to get everything in order began way before the festivities kicked off at the exquisite outdoor venue. This included three weeks of silver service training for those working at the event, more than 10,000 red roses, which were purchased to decorate table centrepieces, and a gastronomical feast that took about 36 hours and a team of 220 chefs to prepare.
After mingling and networking over welcome drinks, guests were ushered to their tables, and presented with a selection of freshly made bread, beverages and appetisers to nibble on.
Helming food duty for the night were the highly revered chefs de cuisine Cesar Bartolini from Bread Street Kitchen & Bar, Hervé Courtot from Nobu Dubai, and Salvo Sardo from Randa Locatelli. The three combined their culinary skills for the delectable feast. While the chefs were cooking up a storm, messages from the owners of the respective restaurants were displayed on screens across the venue. Chief executive of Dubai Airports, Peter Griffiths, also shared a few words with guests, who had descended on Dubai from all corners of the globe for this year’s Airshow.
"We are very proud to have served one of our signature starters at the Gala Dinner Under the Stars," said Bartolini. "Our potted salt beef brisket, with mustard and piccalilli, is a fine example of the type of contemporary British cuisine found at Bread Street Kitchen, and we hope it contributed to an unforgettable culinary experience on an unforgettable night."
While things have been known to get frantic at the best of times in a kitchen, Nobu’s Courtot didn’t buckle under the pressure, saying it was an honour to cook for those at the dinner. “There are so many great people involved, and as one of the biggest nights of the year, the menu must be exquisite, he said. “We are very pleased to have served our signature eggplant nasu miso, which is one of our most popular dishes, fusing the traditional Japanese and Peruvian influences that Nobu is famous for.”
Chef Sardo echoed the words of his contemporaries. “For us, the sign of a warm welcome is to feed people. And the pleasure comes from sharing a great meal with others and bringing that spirit of conviviality to life. Yet there is no enjoyment of food without quality, therefore we trust that our starter of octopus with black olives and a shallot dressing delivered this, whilst keeping it simple, honest and fresh.”
While the change between the main course and dessert felt a little rushed, the courses were delightful. For those who don’t eat beef, vegetarian, chicken and fish options were also on offer. Dessert was a trio of cherry custard, Atlantis chocolate and pistachio mousse vanilla cream, and a cherry nectar.
To top off a delicious meal, some cosy company and a wonderful setting was a performance from Jennifer Lopez.
The star came on a little after 10.30pm, and played crowd-pleasers such as Get Loud, Waiting For Tonight and her new single Amor, Amor, Amor, for more than an hour. During her set, the star had five wardrobe changes, and with each change, she showed off her performance-ready yet fashion-forward outfits. The performance itself was polished and tight, with lots of slick choreography, a lot of crowd interaction and a perfect celebration for this, the 10th gala of its kind.
J Lo continues her big in Dubai trip on November 16, where she’ll make an appearance at Base, Dubai’s home-grown super-club (watch out for Tyga, French Montana and DJ Cruz there, too). This will be followed by her gig at the Autism Rocks Arena on Friday, November 17.