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Gigi Hadid's Magical Birthday Celebration at Disney World

Are you ready for some birthday magic? Supermodel Gigi Hadid recently jetted off to Disney World to celebrate her special day. The star-studded event was full of surprises and excitement, making it a birthday she...

Are you ready for some birthday magic? Supermodel Gigi Hadid recently jetted off to Disney World to celebrate her special day. The star-studded event was full of surprises and excitement, making it a birthday she will never forget.

Gigi Hadid jets to Disney World for birthday celebrations Alain Ducasse and Afonso Salvacao Barreto in AlUla. (Suuplied)

A Culinary Adventure in AlUla

While Gigi had an enchanting time at Disney World, another magical experience is taking place in the historic city of AlUla. Renowned chef Alain Ducasse has collaborated with executive chef Afonso Salvacao Barreto to bring a pop-up restaurant to this mesmerizing location. Nestled next to the ancient heritage site of Jabal Ikmah, the restaurant offers a unique fine dining experience like no other.

Exploring Local Ingredients and French Influences

As part of AlUla Moments, the new venture aims to create French dishes with a Middle Eastern twist, using locally sourced ingredients from nearby farms. This fusion of flavors and culinary traditions promises to tantalize your taste buds and create a truly memorable dining experience.

Insights from Chef Afonso Salvacao Barreto

We had the opportunity to catch up with Chef Barreto and gain some exclusive insights into his culinary journey. From his favorite spice to his go-to dish when there's limited time, here's a glimpse into the world of this talented chef:

The Importance of Patience and Technique

When asked about the most common mistake he made when he started his career, Chef Barreto emphasized the importance of following recipes and mastering the techniques involved. Taking shortcuts may seem tempting, but investing time and effort in each step leads to exceptional results on the plate.

Seasoning and Tasting: The Key to Perfect Flavors

For amateurs cooking at home, Chef Barreto advises seasoning and tasting as you go. Every layer of a recipe contributes its own unique flavor, and by trying the dish throughout the cooking process, you can adjust and refine the flavors to perfection.

The Versatile and Flavorful Spice

Cumin, a spice found in various cultures, is Chef Barreto's secret weapon. With its smoky depth, it can instantly elevate any dish. Whether in its whole or powdered form, cumin should have a special place in every kitchen.

The Chef's Perspective on Dining Out

While Chef Barreto is meticulous about his craft in the kitchen, he switches off and enjoys dining out, as long as he is in good company. Mistakes can be overlooked when the atmosphere is delightful and the company is joyful.

Simple Pleasures and Childhood Nostalgia

When it comes to his favorite cuisine, Chef Barreto shares a love for one dish that transcends borders – snails with garlic and butter. This simple yet delicious dish holds a special place in his heart, evoking memories of his Portuguese roots and their shared appreciation with French cuisine.

Quick and Delicious: Pasta with Fresh Herbs and Vegetables

For those busy evenings when time is limited, Chef Barreto recommends a quick pasta dish infused with a mix of fresh herbs and vegetables. This simple yet satisfying meal allows the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine through.

The Gracious Chef: Accommodating Every Customer

As a chef and someone dedicated to the hospitality industry, Chef Barreto emphasizes the importance of respecting customer needs and going above and beyond to ensure their satisfaction. Annoyances are few and far between when you prioritize your customers' happiness.

A Traditional Delight from Portugal

Chef Barreto's favorite dish to cook is a traditional Portuguese ragout of green peas with poached eggs. This hearty and flavorful dish holds a special place in his heart, reminding him of the warmth and comfort of his childhood.

The Art of the Perfect Omelet

Surprisingly, the most difficult dish for Chef Barreto to master is the humble omelet. While it may seem simple, creating the perfect omelet requires technical skill and precision. From the right temperature of the eggs to the delicate folding technique, mastering this classic dish takes practice and dedication.

A Leader with Respect and Availability

In the kitchen, Chef Barreto believes in respect and availability as the keys to fostering a productive and harmonious team. By treating his team members with respect and being available to guide and support them, he inspires them to give their best.

Chef Afonso's Chickpea, Coriander, and Buddha's Hand Salad

To add a touch of culinary delight to your own kitchen, here's a recipe from Chef Afonso Salvacao Barreto. This refreshing chickpea salad is bursting with flavors and textures that will leave you craving for more.


  • 450g cooked chickpeas
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 piece shallots in vinegar
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

For the Chickpea Emulsion:

  • 600g cooked chickpeas
  • 160g tahini
  • 12g salt
  • 50g milk
  • 200g cream
  • 160g grapeseed oil
  • White pepper to taste
  • Sherry vinegar to taste

For the Topping:

  • Buddha's Hand
  • Sumac
  • Chili pepper
  • Bay leaf powder


  1. In a bowl, mix all the chickpea salad ingredients together.

  2. For the chickpea emulsion, blend the cooked chickpeas, tahini, and salt until smooth.

  3. Stir in the cream and milk.

  4. Slowly add the grapeseed oil.

  5. Pass the mixture through a chinois and season with white pepper and sherry vinegar.

  6. Transfer the mixture to a whipping siphon charged with two gas cartridges. Whip until light and fluffy.

  7. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator but allow it to temper at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

  8. Place the seasoned salad in a serving bowl and top it with the chickpea emulsion. Garnish with Buddha's Hand, sumac, chili pepper, and bay leaf powder.

Now, you can enjoy a taste of Chef Barreto's culinary expertise right in your own home.

As Gigi Hadid celebrated her birthday in the magical world of Disney, Chef Afonso Salvacao Barreto continues to create enchanting culinary experiences in AlUla. Let these moments inspire you to explore new flavors, techniques, and the joy of bringing people together through the love of good food.