Wollongong's secret new dining experience

The Fine Spun Catering team preparing dessert at the first Covert Cuisine.

The Fine Spun Catering team preparing dessert at the first Covert Cuisine.

Ever thought you would like to be taken out on a mystery dinner where all you know in advance is the theme and what to wear?

A new dining experience in Wollongong offers just that.

Covert Cuisine was an idea cooked up by self-confessed foodie Alison Perizi, who operates under the name of Agent Edesia.

Mrs Perizi was inspired by a secret dining event she attended in Newcastle last year titled Underground Epicureans.

That event started her creative juices flowing and within days she was planning secret dining experiences in the Illawarra.

The former manager of the Renewable Recyclers facility in Fairy Meadow left that job to have a baby several years ago but still works for the same company three days a week in Sydney.

Chef Greg Spain, of Fine Spun Catering, delivered the main dish with a Dracula theme.

Chef Greg Spain, of Fine Spun Catering, delivered the main dish with a Dracula theme.

But her passion for good food made from fresh regional produce combined with a drive to support local charities prompted her to spend the rest of the week as both a parent and an agent for secret food business.

The first Covert Cuisine dinner was an elaborate dining experience with a movie theme in June.

The aim of it and all future events is to showcase the quality and diversity of local chefs, regional provedores, venues and artists in the region to deliver something new, exciting and different to the local dining scene.

All guests knew about the first dinner was it was going to be a Silver Screen Supper in an iconic building.

They were told on the Covert Cuisine website that they should creatively dress as their favourite star of the silver screen. They then received an SMS and email on the day of the mystery dinner telling them where they were going.

It was in the old Regent Theatre, which had returned to its historic role as a movie theatre when Gateway Church let Edesia and her other secret agents wind back the clock to a bygone era, the Golden Years of Hollywood.

 Dawn Morrison gets the Hot Potato jazz band treatment. Pictures: GREG ELLIS

Dawn Morrison gets the Hot Potato jazz band treatment. Pictures: GREG ELLIS

As soon as guests arrived they were greeted by a red carpet that made them feel like A-list celebrities at the Oscars.

They were dining among the stars as some old black and white movie classics played on a large screen.

The menu was prepared by chef Greg Spain, of Fine Spun Catering and the Fine Line Function Centre and each dish was based on a movie theme.

The wine came from Tertini Wines and the beer from Illawarra Brewing Company.

Mrs Perizi said there was already great interest in the next mystery dinner. Its Gourmet Galaxy theme will see guests venture off the "eaten" track for an off the planet dining experience.

The date is yet to be released.

"A secret destination creates an element of intrigue and is a real ice-breaker for the like-minded foodies who come along to these events," she said.

All profits from each event are donated to a local charity.

The first recipient was the Inner City Meals Program run by the Gateway Church.

Pastor Scott Hanzy said the Inner City Meals Program provides free meals for the most vulnerable citizens every Tuesday night at Myuna Way, Wollongong.

Further information can be found on the website covertcuisine.com.au.

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