Past Events


Secret Dinner with Chris Cranswick-Smith

Secret Foodies hit Sydney’s eastern suburbs last Thursday, this time dining at Emmilou on Bourke St in Surry Hills. Guests began arriving at 7pm and were greeted with a cocktail on arrival created especially for the event and aptly named the ‘Ms Darlinghurst’.

Amongst the group of 20 Secret Foodies were some delightful familiar faces and some fun new additions to the SF Club. Confirming 6-degrees of-separation is prevalent in Sydney’s east as it was soon established that most people knew each other through someone, in some way.

We even had a Secret Foodies first with a family reunion! Having not seen each other for 10 years, 2 blood cousins were reunited at the dinner…of all the places and out of only 20 people, these two gents were reacquainted, who would have thought?

Celebrity chef Chris Cranswick-Smith gave us a very warm welcome, delivering each dish and sharing his food philosophy. Chris has been cooking since the age of 14, worked in Michelin star restaurants in Spain, France and the UK and some of Sydney’s top restaurants. He is also a regular guest chef on Ready Steady Cook.

The cuisine at Emmilou can be described as “an authentic menu of modern Spanish tapas that combine international expertise with fresh, local produce”. With an impressive wine list, including a delicious Shiraz from his own fathers winery, Cranswick Estate, guests were not short of wines to compliment their dishes.

Dishes were designed to be shared as an informal degustation, Chris also ensured our vegetarian (or ‘non-face-eaters’) and pescetarians were looked after.

My favourite dishes were the ‘Duck Liver Parfait, Fried Beetroot and Sourdough’ and the ‘Blackened Ceviche of Scallops with Toasted Corn Salsa’.
Signature dishes included the ‘Twice Cooked Pork Belly, Chickpea, Potato and Chorizo ‘Cocido’ and the ‘Goat Sausage with Red Cabbage and a Pedro Ximinez Glaze’.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening at Emmilou. The food, the wine, the cocktails and of course the fabulous team of undercover foodies made this the perfect evening.

But enough about what I thought…check out what our Secret Foodies have to say.

xx Ms Darlinghurst
  1. Carolina Oracle
    I suffer from an illness: the inability to share my food. I go tropo when I have to share tapas and sulky when there’s a Lazy Susan. To best illustrate my point, Smithy puts it perfectly when he orders Indian in Gavin & Staceyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lE9y5Ub3TQ
    But,Chef Chris, your servings were so large, tasty and more-ish – I actually enjoyed my newfound ‘sharing skill’. I came away from the evening feeling satisfied (that is, my stomach, as well as my spirit).
  2. Genevieve
    Emmilou was such a wonderful discovery, delicious food, beautifully presented. Who would have thought Goat could taste so good? Was absolutely stuffed by the end of the meal but still found room to share a dessert – as we discussed that night – you sometimes need to have a happy ending…
  3. liv number 1!
    Some people describe me as a little strange – quirky I’d rather think, so true to my personality I can’t stand things that are every day.
    The evening at Emmilou really satisfied all my cravings – a unique menu, many different personalities at our busy dinner table and especially the cocktail menu. Food wasn’t hat quality but was still very enjoyable. Chris and the bar staff really made my evening. Ron Zacappa xo cocktail to end the evening yum yum!
  4. All I have to say is DELICIOUS!! Hot damn! Myself and the FOOD WINE SLEEP crew were loving every bite Chris whipped up! The ceviche melted in your mouth like butter and the presentation on each course was like little art pieces waiting to be devoured… wait that doesn’t make any sense you don’t normally eat art… but you get my drift…. comprende? Delicioso! Fantastico! Maravilloso!
    -Alicia :)
  5. Great location, great bar (and bar staff) and great setting! Some of the dishes were outstanding (the cauliflower starter and ceviche) others were a bit uneven. A lovely spot for cocktails with friends and a few unique nibbles but not somewhere I would recommend for food alone!
  6. Kylie S
    Well what a pleasant surprise, as the token “non face eater” I am often a side thought of kitchens or left to order my meal minus the meat which really isnt enough to satisfy a kittens hunger, not so here. Chris, thank you for not only putting so much effort into my delicious meal but also not scrimping on the ol vego meal. I was so full I could barely finish my last dish, highlight..so many to choose but has to be the scallops – bless your cotton socks you little faceless wonders! Fantastic evening Ms D and chef Chris thank you again.
  7. So perhaps I’m too lazy to review in full, but can I just say that the non-mammal-eaters’ polenta with mushroom foam and parmesan crisps was INCREDIBLE. So good even the pork-belly-eaters were impressed (and it’s pretty hard to impress those types with anything else – especially something non-meaty – when there’s pork belly on the table). Other highlights: the mouth-puckering piquillo peppers filled with soft, rich goats cheese. So generous, and so…piquant. In fact, I wouldn’t mind one right now (please).
    Oh, and the other highlight: the brilliantly company of course. Can’t wait til next time.)
  8. Dear all Secret Foodies
    Thank you very much for your kind words, we enjoyed having your immensley.
    Please do contact me directly for any future reservations and I will see to it personally that you are looked after. Free cocktail for anyone who makes a booking directly with me Monday – Thursday nights
    Kind Regards,