Andrea, known as Dre, Reiss, owner of Melbourne’s Chez Dre and Bibelot patisseries, and the Macedon Ranges' Woodend Ice Cream Co. and Gisborne Ice Cream Co. will speak on a panel at the event. Image source: @bibelot on Instagram.

By Aleksandra Bliszczyk

The Romsey Region Business and Tourism Association is hosting a dinner this week celebrating creativity in business and creatives who live and work locally.

Held at Glen Erin in Lancefield on Thursday, the dinner will feature live music and a panel interview with Andrea, known as Dre, Reiss, owner of Melbourne’s Chez Dre and Bibelot patisseries.

Ms Reiss will discuss her vision for adding more artisan small food businesses to the area she now calls home.

Association president Jenny Stillman said Ms Reiss’s story was incredibly inspiring, regardless of people’s interests, profession or sweet tooth.

“The reason we have this dinner … is both to provide opportunities not to just the business community but also to the broader communities to hear these stories and get some sort of take out from those stories,” she said.

“You don’t have to be interested in ice cream or hospitality, but you can be interested in people’s capacity to succeed and to being adaptive and creative – it doesn’t matter what you’re doing.”

After commencing her training in Melbourne, Ms Reiss worked in London and Paris, having been head-hunted by the Michelin-starred Taillevent Restaurant.

She returned to Australia with extensive pastry experience and founded Chez Dre and Bibelot in South Melbourne.

After leaving a thumbprint on Melbourne’s dessert scene, Ms Reiss has progressed to ice cream, bringing her business to the Macedon Ranges and opening Woodend Ice Cream Co. and Gisborne Ice Cream Co.

“They’re testament to the fact that she’s innovative thinker and pretty creative,” Ms Stillman said.

“We’re really looking forward to hearing her story, and what people do and why they’ve done it is inspiring to everyone, regardless of what we do in our everyday lives.”

Ms Reiss will be interviewed by Colin Cameron of Feature Entertainment in an informal panel setting, while Romsey resident and performer Gabriel Macura will provide the musical entertainment on the night.

“There will be a set of music from Gabriel, and she’s going to mix it up a little bit so there’s something for everyone,” Ms Stillman said.

Ms Stillman hopes the evening will give residents from across the shire a chance to get out of the house, connect with creatives and celebrate the region.

“People are keen to have a night out where they can relax, and at the same time be inspired, entertained with no pressure,” she said.

“We look at it from a shire-wide perspective. It’s not about Romsey, Lancefield, Woodend, Kyneton; this is about our region, it’s about celebrating what we have.”

She also said she hoped the event would spawn new ideas for boosting tourism and bringing visitors to town.

Tickets are $60 for RRBATA members and $68 for non-members. It includes a two-course meal, with drinks available to purchase. The dinner commences at 7pm Thursday at Glen Erin, 200 Rochford Road, Lancefield. Tickets are available at