Secret Dining Society

Tommy Collins recently teamed up with respected innovator, Blake Hutchison (Founder of to produce Melbourne’s latest Secret Dining Society soiree. The stunning event was complemented by the equally stunning venue (the newly vamped), Donkey Wheel House in the CBD.  Being one of Melbourne’s most iconic, historical buildings, it was the perfect setting for the exclusive, intimate affair, ultimately adding to the ‘wow’ factor of the evening.

The aim behind Blake’s forward-thinking concept, was to entitle food lovers to an exclusive membership in the society through a bi-monthly subscription, where a secret dinner party is laid on, celebrating leading Melbourne chefs, with innovative menus, providing unique food experiences. The secrecy continues, with the chosen venue for each gathering being kept under-wraps from the diners until the day of the event.  This pattern also flows through to the chef booked on each job and their detailed menu in place for the particular night – all of which again, are kept secret from the guests until they are seated at their tables.  All of these interjected aspects further add to the mystique of each dinner party and make for the ultimate dining experience for these food loving individuals.




Taking off this cloak of secrecy now, Mr. Collins can reveal that the respected chef in question for this latest society meet, was none other than Tommy Collins Head Chef, Michael Fox.  Already sharing a professional relationship with Blake where the two had previously worked on a progressive dinner event at one of Melbourne’s finest CBD haunts, Michael was extremely pleased to be joining him on this unique format.


For the 5 course spectacle, the basement event space of Donkey Wheel House was the ideal lay out for the production, with its darkened rooms, winding walkways & low ceilings.  As guests arrived they were ushered down the main stairwell (beautifully lit by flickering candles & luscious greenery) into the first event area, where a traditional cocktail with an aromatic twist was served up – shaken by the infamous Mr. Collins!  Succulent canapés were also offered round during this initial stage, whilst the guests chatted amongst one another, alluding their shared queries on the potential chef & menu that proceeded them.  The group were then invited through to the main dining stage which had been eloquently set by the uber-talented team at The Style Co.   The tables draped in fine linen were accompanied by dozens of assorted candles and various rustic style potted plants



As the guests took to their seats they had their first look over the secret menu that Michael had prepared for them with matching wines for each course.  With a quick intro into the evenings proceedings, Blake announced the dining experience, under way.  As Mr. C and his team presented the first course, chef Michael appeared to brief the guests on the dish in front of them including all of the ingredients.  The delicate presentation of each creation was further amplified by the stunning tableware provided by the consummate professionals at Place Settings.  The theme Michael had set for the evening was centered around the ‘Season of Autumn’, using local produce to incorporate ‘Pine’ into each of the courses.  This core theme certainly made for some vivid, molecular creations which impressed the diners at each table.  With flowing interactions from both Blake & Michael throughout the evening, and the subtly lit setting, this particular intimate Secret Dining affair, was one to remember!

Menu by Michael Fox


Duck, pineapple, bacon

Potato, goats curd, pine mushroom

5 Course Menu

Pine mushroom, chestnut

Mulloway, horseradish, cucumber, dill

Chicken, pine nut, fig, chestnut, buckwheat

Beef, pine mushroom, cauliflower,  jerusalem artichoke, salsify

Pine nuts, pine needle, pineapple

Leave a Reply