noun. “cult” - a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, or ideal

The Cult Project is about food, the philosophy of eating and the experience of where we have come from, what we have learnt, and where we are going. Food is our common ground, our universal language.

The ambition of the cult project is to create a dining experience in which food, in our own tradition, is about sharing, about honesty and about our identity. Collaborating with others in hospitality that share our vision for what it is and what it should be.


The Cult Project x Racket bar

The Cult Project is a pop-up restaurant that has transformed itself from a dining event into a semi-permanent operation at Racket in Roukai Lane, Britomart. We are offering a full à la carte menu every Tuesday to Thursday from 4:00pm - 9:00pm.

The Cult Project’s cuisine is heavily focused on the diverse local Auckland food scene, taking influence from our Chef’s cultural heritage and inspiration from our surroundings. As an establishment we also aim to be at the forefront of eliminating food waste to take more of a conscious effort towards keeping our environment clean and green. The food is not limited to a specific style or flavour, but rather we take a holistic approach focusing on making a menu that is both generous and thoughtful.


Food is our common ground


The Cult Project was founded by William Cook and Carlo Buenaventura in 2016. They first worked together at the Matterhorn Wellington in 2012 under the mentorship of Dave Verheul.

William left to help open up The Town Mouse in Melbourne with Dave in 2013 while Carlo stayed in Wellington.  After a year in Melbourne, William returned to Wellington hoping to share what he experienced working in the Australian Hospitality scene.  Will and Carlo met and started planning to initially start up a small ‘Tex Mex’ pop-up eatery at Hangar in Wellington while their mates were running a bar at night. Both Will and Carlo then moved up to Auckland for further career opportunities. 

After moving to the big city the two Chefs saw the potential for a pop-up dining establishment.  Their concept was to take influence and inspiration from their cultural heritage to create food that was thought provoking, generous and delicious all at the same time.


Carlo brought William to work with him at Orphans Kitchen to run the pastry kitchen. It was there that they would meet their front of house team Irina Lylova and Sheree Pifeleti.

Having worked closely together for many months, the foursome developed a close knit working relationship that would later direct them along the same path. When William and Carlo decided it was time to get The Cult Project up and running after their 2 year stint at Orphans Kitchen they approached Irina and Sheree to help them with front of house for the pop-up events.  This naturally progressed from Sheree and Irina helping out to becoming part of the Cult Project team and now the four plan, create and execute service together.


The Cult Project aims to have a restaurant that serves refined, thoughtful, delicious food and offers knowledgeable and efficient service.

A restaurant that is environmentally aware and looks after the planet. And most importantly, a restaurant that Aucklanders want to dine in and a restaurant that attracts diners from across the globe because of its reputation for genuine, honest hospitality and really good food.




Wednesday March 2, 2016

Restaurant Review: The Cult Project, Ponsonby

A temporary eatery is adding class to the K Rd scene

By Jesse Mulligan

Sunday april 17, 2016

This is a review of a restaurant that, if it ever existed, doesn't exist any more, but will re-exist very soon.

By Peter Calder

herald pic.jpeg


Friday february 19, 2016

Auckland's newest food cult

Words and main photo by Alice Harbourne.



To book a table please email us your name, contact details, date and time at



The cult project x racket

Roukai lane, 50 customs street east, Auckland 1010

Operating hours

Tuesday 4pm-9pm

Wednesday 4pm-9pm

Thursday 4pm-9pm


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