Underground Dining No Longer A Secret

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I stumbled across an Instagram post for an account called @thesecreteats. Immediately my interest was piqued. Anything with the word secret in is worth investigating in my eyes, and I clicked on the profile to take a closer look.

The posts didn’t give away too much, except that it was some sort of a dining experience with a lot of secrets attached to it.

I gave Darren Mentz, who runs the initiative, a call to find out more, and boy did I like what I heard. So much so, that I booked my tickets for their dining experience which was held in July.

What exactly is the secretEATS concept?

It’s an exclusive dining experience, unlike anything you will ever experience. Top chefs and young, rising stars are invited to step out of their everyday kitchens and into a mystery location to create a once-off dining experience that leaves guests hungry for more. Invited guests are treated to an exclusive, intimate dinner party featuring course after course of gourmet food and premium wine pairings from some of the top farms in S.A.

The idea is simple, secretEATS brings together outgoing, adventurous food and wine lovers who are looking for a decidedly different dining experience. Our guest chefs take the diners’ tastebuds on a culinary journey in the most unusual, unexpected and awe-inspiring locations across South Africa.

How was the concept born?

SecretEATS was born from the need to bring people together around a shared dinner table. It is about creating the opportunity for strangers to come together, break bread, share a laugh, and more often than not, leave as friends.

How often do you have an event?

We host two evenings a month for between 20 and 30 guests each night. The idea is that if you miss a SecretEATS, you really do miss out. Each dinner is a one-of-a-kind experience, and it doesn’t get repeated.

How do you choose your venue? And the menu?

We scout Joburg for the most interesting and unique venues. Somewhere you can’t go for dinner any other time. We have been lucky that venues have approached us to collaborate. The menu is always the chefs’ dream menu and a collaboration between the venue, chef and wine farm to get the perfect combination.

When is the next one?

13 and 20 September 2019 – You can follow us on Instagram @thesecreteats for more information. We do hope to see you there!

Armed with this information I booked for 6 of us and on the morning of the 19th July, I received a pin drop for the location on WhatsApp. An email came shortly after that included my secret password to let me in.

Now before I say any more, I will let the pictures from the evening speak for themselves.

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Adele Koolen
Adele Koolen

Health Editor

Adele Koolen studied BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy at Wits, practiced as a Physio for 15 years, and became one of the most sought-after Physios in the world sport arena. However, a hand injury in 2017 forced Adele to pursue alternative business ventures, resulting in her becoming a successful businesswoman and philanthropist. She is currently a Social Media Manager for a design company in Johannesburg, the founder of the #IAmEnoughZA campaign and the reigning Mrs SA Charity.

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