A good meal brings the hottest secrets out.
It would be a shame to miss out on an adventure like this.
This little surprise will be the key to a gastronomical experience like never before!
Are you ready to take the leap of faith?
Unique in every sense, SecretEATS is a melting pot of cultures and surprises. From locations, delectable curations to the guests, everything is a mystery until you arrive.
We reached out to the man behind-it-all, Gregory Zeleny, Founder, SecretEATS and here are some excerpts from our conversation with him about his journey.
SecretEATS was founded to bring people from different walks of life, different social circles together to mix, mingle and make meaningful connections.
Combined with a personal love of delicious food, premium wine and discovering unique, unexpected and often awe-inspiring spaces, helped create our first and every experience since.
How It All Started
Gregory wanted to create something that is never done before. Something that will make strangers turn into bestest buds over a meal.
SecretEATS officially launched in March 2013 with Gregory’s first Secret dinner party at a stunning private home overlooking the Atlantic in Llundadno- a beautiful coastal community in Cape Town, South Africa.
Truthfully though, our journey began back in November 2012 when the idea first came to me . Inspired by my first Thanksgiving in South Africa, a holiday that is not typically celebrated there but friends simply kept inviting friends to join our ‘small’ celebration at my home. I think I had invited 12 guests to come over for turkey day.
On Thanksgiving night, we had about 40 people, mostly friends of friends come by to break bread and share in the celebration.
Fuelled by the inspiration of starting something like never before, they came up with the The Secret Eats. Where strangers unite over a meal and leave with memories they will never forget. A “secret”, yet social dining experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.
Wary of expanding their reach in foreign soil, it has been quite a ride for The Secret Eats as they expanded from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Before they knew it, the American founder sold out all tickets for their Johannesburg event in only a few hours!
Working from Cape Town, we arranged the event with one of Joburg’s celebrity chefs, Nicky Gibbs, in a super Secret spot that was closed to the public. In planning it, we just knew it would be a success.
But, what we didn’t anticipate was that the demand for tickets would be more than double what it was in Cape Town! After only a few hours, all of the tickets were sold out. In the end, we had 80 guests at our first SecretEATS Joburg compared to our typical 30-40 guests in Cape Town.
Secrets Find Their Way
2020 was a tough year for hospitality and The Secret Eats felt the ripple. Without being able to host any in-person events, they managed to come up with new ways to share experience by introducing an interactive, online version of their secret dining and cocktail experiences.
We decided to take on the challenge of hosting a ‘virtual’ dinner to bring people together from the comforts of their own home. It was seriously sensational to host 4 of these experiences during the lockdown with our first in-person dining event only returning in October.
In Vietnam, The Secret Eats relies heavily on their exclusive Cocktail Experience. On a walking excursion through the picturesque ancient streets of Hoi An, guests can discover 5 signature cocktails at 5 secret spaces while learning about the history of the magical ancient trading port from The Secret Eats host.
When Vietnam closed its borders to international visitors with no plans to re-open in the foreseeable future, we had to act quickly and our team launched the Online Cocktail Experience- the first of its kind back in April this year.
Now, guests from around the world can join us from the comfort and safety of their home to learn how to create some of our favourite, signature cocktails, inspired by our beautiful Southeast Asia home and made with love.
2021 Is Packed With Secret Experiences!
It’s impossible to know what the future holds but that certainly doesn’t stop them from dreaming, planning and offering the best gastronomical experiences in the world.
As things return to normal in the cities around the world, the SecretEATS will do what it does best – bring people together, one experience at a time. Till now, from South Africa to Vietnam, thousands have enjoyed ‘secret’ dining experiences and looking forward to many more.
Cheers to that!