I had the pleasure of visiting the Cote d’Azur this week to get a sneaky behind-the-scenes peak of the Cannes Film Festival’s Opening Gala party and Le Menu de Cannes, held at the glamourous Electrolux Agora venue on the beach. Check out pictures and video footage of the Grand Jury including Jude Law, Uma Thurman, Robert De Niro and Woody Allen and take a look at where the stars partied and find out what they ate, including 350 lobsters and 850 bottles of champers and wine. There’s an exclusive look at the Gala dinner menu too, created by top Michelin-star chef Alain Ducasse…
This year’s 64th International Film Festival de Cannes kicked off last Wednesday night with the premiere of Woody Allen’s new film, Midnight in Paris staring Owen Wilson, Carla Bruni and Rachel McAdams. Woody Allen arrived sporting his trademark wild crop of grey hair, followed by Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams who was meandering down the central aisle of the Palais cinema in a hot pink dress.
Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet featuring Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Woody Allen and Léa Seydoux…and Salma Hayek (below) on the Red Carpet…
Grand Jury on the Red Carpet…
After the screening, 650 guests flowed back down the famous red carpet to take their place in the elegant Electrolux Agora pavilion next door, where they nibbled on a dinner prepared by Alain Ducasse, the world’s only 28-star Michelin chef, and his entourage of 40 chefs, Le Nôtre.
Diners included Cannes Grand Jury president Robert De Niro, as well as Uma Thurman and Jude Law, who enjoyed a feast of lobster, veal mignon and a decadent chocolate dessert, accompanied by classic French madeleine. Top picture: Robert De Niro and Jude Law at the 64th International Film Festival de Cannes Electrolux Agora Opening Gala dinner night.
Below: 3 is a magic number – the Opening Gala dinner party tables just before the event and ready for guests…
Alain Ducasse’s entourage of chefs worked hard to create an exquisite meal fit for the stars at the Opening Gala dinner. His master craftsmen of cookery served a meal influenced by the local ingredients of the Cote d’Azur, prepared on Electrolux professional kitchen appliances. So why were Electrolux sponsoring the event you might ask?! I got chatting to Neil Gannon from Electrolux who told me that they already supply 50 per cent of Michelin kitchens worldwide and chefs and all things food related are now all over the festival scene so it seemed a perfect fit. ‘Chefs are the new film/rock stars,’ he said. I certainly think Alain Ducasse rocks after I tasted his food.
At the dinner:
350 lobsters and over 80 kilos of veal filet mignon were served.
700 courgette flowers were eaten.
The meal was washed down with 700 bottles of red and white wine and 150 bottles of champagne.
Guests feasted on 70kgs of chocolate in the dessert.
Guests used over 5000 pieces of cutlery which, when laid end to end, would be the equivalent of at least 12 struts up the famous red carpet of the Palais de Festival.
Top chef Alain Ducasse (below) and his menu for Cannes Opening Gala dinner. Check back at ACHICA Living later this week when I’ll be sharing a recipe from this exclusive menu so you can try it at home…
For more behind the scenes footage, check out the video here…
During my visit, I had the pleasure of staying at the stunning 5 star Hotel Majestic Barriere, where the likes of Robert De Niro, Jude Law, Jean Paul Gaultier and Uma Thurman were spotted coming and going. It’s ideally located on the famous Croisette and the Palais des Festivals and each room commands beautiful views of the sea on one side and the hotel’s entrance on the other, so you can do a bit of people watching while you catch some rays…
Attending the premiere of We Need To Talk About Kevin, with Tilda Swinton playing the leading role, was a highlight of my trip. Although I’m a huge fan of Tilda Swinton and loved her performance, we do need to talk about how the film doesn’t do the amazing book justice, but that’s another blog post. Here’s me (on the left looking sheepish) at the premiere of We Need To Talk About Kevin. I love the faces of the bored photographers behind. ‘Don’t worry fellas, Tilda’s on her way!’
The next day I hung out on beach at the Electrolux Agora venue where the Opening Gala Dinner had been held and ate lunch from Alain Ducasse’s stunning menu…
[Thanks to Ben at Beehive City for taking a pic of my lunch for me!]
Jude Law alert! Check out the backstage pictures of Jude Law, Uma Thurman and Robert De Niro judging Le Menu de Cannes lunch HERE
You can get more backstage gossip from the Cannes Film Festival if you follow the Electrolux blog
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Emily Peck, Editor
View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor