Food & Drink

Australia’s Hottest Chefs To Host Secret Dining Series

Adam Liaw - Secret Suppers. Image: Conrad Coleby, Realm Photography.

Red Rock Deli announces the full chef line-up for its Secret Suppers campaign; a new and unique approach to pop up dining.

On May 15, celebrity chef Adam Liaw kicked off the exclusive dining series, taking an intimate group of diners on a journey entitled Fusion Adventure. Each course brought to life the exotic flavours of Red Rock Deli’s new limited edition Thai Red Chilli & Creamy Coconut potato chips. And dressed up within an unused building along Wattle Street in Ultimo was the quirkiest pop-up dining experience led by Adam Liaw.

“This is not somewhere where dinners have ever been held before,” Adam Liaw told the 20 of us diners before him. “We’ve created a kitchen out the back. Every single aspect you see around you was brought in for tonight only.

“The idea is that new flavours bring new experiences, and not just new but also unique experiences too.”

The flavours Liaw worked with were chilli and coconut – two completely different flavours with different levels of power. How does one pair the subtle flavour of coconut with the forceful flavour of chilli? With the right balance, of course!

“There’s probably no one here who’s never tried coconut before or never tried chilli before,” Adam continued. “But think about the places where those flavours could take you – coconut could be an Anzac biscuit, coconut could be a pina colada; chilli could be an Indian curry, chilli could be Mexican food on the other side of the world.

“There are very different ways you can see these flavours individually, and how they come together.”

Check out the images below for Adam Liaw’s three-course Fusion Adventure menu.

The event also revealed an impressive line-up of chefs for the remaining four events; Australia’s hottest chefs, we should say.

Joining the Secret Suppers team will be Duncan Welgemoed, Chris Yan, Paul Turner and Giorgio Di Stefano, each designing a bespoke three-course menu inspired by Red Rock Deli’s new Limited-Edition Fusion range of potato chips. Each month for the next four months, Secret Suppers will host one exclusive event in a secret location. The details of each Secret Supper will be kept a mystery. Starting with a secret alert, guests will be informed of the location before being taken on a curious journey to a unique, hidden venue for an intimate and immersive dining experience for just 20 lucky guests per seating.

From left to right: Duncan Welgemoed, Paul Turner, Adam Liaw, Chris Yan, and Giorgio Di Stefano. Image: Conrad Coleby, Realm Photography.

Duncan Welgemoed, the founder of South Australia’s hippest restaurant Africola, will host Flame Wars, the next event to appear in the Secret Suppers series in June, popping up somewhere within Sydney. Duncan is one of Australia’s most-watched and sought after culinary talents. Having made a name for himself headlining some of Adelaide’s most prestigious food festivals and making his television debut as a challenger on Nine’s MasterChef in 2015, Duncan is sure to make a big impression on the night with a menu inspired by Red Rock Deli’s Flamed Grilled Steak and Chimichurri potato chips. This is very much in keeping with Duncan’s passion for all things grilled and charred to perfection. The only trouble is, Duncan is keeping the location of the event tightly sealed.

“Part of the magic of the Secret Suppers journey is the complete mystery of the whole affair,” Duncan said at Adam Liaw’s secret dinner. “Diners need to discard any preconceptions because what you’ll be experiencing, both plate and setting, will be like nothing offered before.”

Next up is Shanghainese chef Chris Yan, who runs Lotus Dining in Sydney’s Barangaroo scene. He will lead A Night of Spice and draw upon his love of simple ingredients and bold flavours to create a truly unforgettable dining experience. Having grown up in a village two hours outside of Shanghai, Chris developed a passion for cooking at an early age having been taught the secrets and intricacies of Shanghainese cuisine by his grandparents. Chris’ menu for the event will take inspiration from Red Rock Deli’s Thai Chilli and Coconut Chips, which will give Chris an opportunity to showcase his flair for creating unique dishes with a modern twist. But Chris confessed that his Secret Suppers menu for July is a little out of his comfort zone because Thai ingredients are a little different to what you find in Shanghai.

“The hard part is getting the spices right because you can’t make it too spicy,” Chris said at Adam Liaw’s event. “It’s a hard job. The Thai chilli is very spicy, much like the Bird’s Eye Chilli – I haven’t used this main ingredient to match something else. It should be good.

“I can’t tell you too much, but it’s gonna be exciting.”

The Red Rock Deli secret doorway to Fusion Adventures. Image: Conrad Coleby, Realm Photography.

The final two events will take place in Melbourne, led by Paul Turner and Giorgio Di Stefano.

Paul Turner, head chef at Lover, will transform Red Rock Deli’s first Melbourne event, Foraged Flavours, into an evening of culinary magic. Cutting his teeth in the Melbourne family-run institution Donovans, Paul refined his knack for fine dining at Hamilton Island’s Qualia before returning to Melbourne to bring flare to Cutler and Co, Two Wrongs and Lover. Paul courts a respected reputation for his polished cooking and vibrant flavours, and will no doubt inject his passion for sensual fine dining and exquisite flavour combinations into each dish of his sumptuous three-course Foraged Flavours menu.

And last (but certainly not least) is Giorgio Di Stefano, head chef at Ms. Frankie – which has been touted to be the best new Italian restaurant in Melbourne – will be hosting the final Secret Supper event Elevation of the Senses. Born and raised in Sicily, Giorgio is known for dishes high powered flavour from fresh and traditional ingredients, creating an authenticity that makes you feel you’ve wandered in straight from the cobbled streets of Sicily. Giorgio will be bringing authentic Italian flavours in new and exciting ways to his exclusive dining experience.

Tickets to upcoming Secret Suppers will be released each month via this link. Entrants must apply to the ballot and the lucky winners will receive a secret link to buy tickets a week before each event.

The upcoming Secret Suppers event dates are:

  • Flame Wars – Duncan Welgemoed, Africola – 20th June
  • A Night of Spice – Chris Yan, Lotus Dining – 25th July
  • Foraged Flavours – Paul Turner, Lover – 29th August
  • Elevation of the Senses – Giorgio Di Stefano, Ms. Frankie – 3rd October
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