Adelaide Fringe Review: Comfort Food Cabaret
@ Adelaide Central Market till Sunday 24 February (Sorry sold out)
Review – Geoff Jenke
Being a 7pm show, I had two doubts. One – Although advertised that you will get to taste the food, how much will you get and should I eat before I attend? Two – I am coeliac, so will I be able to actually eat anything?
We were off to a good start, when on arrival, we were given a small cone of mixed nuts to devour. At least I can eat those. Then we were asked if we had any dietary requirements. Great, sounds like I will get something to eat. There was also a bottle of water on every seat and a bar close by for a glass of wine or a beer. So good so far.
The setting was in the Adelaide Central Market, ideal for a “food” show. Our hostess for the evening, Michelle Pearson came out singing “Cooking in the Fringe” to the tune of Dancing in the Street. What a wonderful, soulful voice Michelle has. I could have just listened to her sing and tell stories all night. As an introduction, she told us about her family life, where her, her brother and dad (who would put tomato sauce on everything) were fussy eaters. Mum was a good cook but didn’t like cooking.
However, we were here to be fed as well and Michelle was soon onto our first course, arancini balls. She ran through the recipe for us before we were all given an arancini ball (yes mine was gluten free) with a simply amazing sauce.
For mains, Michelle told us the story of a “hot date” that went badly wrong, sung to the song 9 to 5. She apparently ended up at a $13.95 all you can eat restaurant and her “hot date” ended up on his phone to his ex. She left him at the restaurant and being still hungry tried to get something at the big M place, but it was closing, so she ended up with Cheese Macaroni at a Villi’s 24-hour restaurant. (“How come Villi’s never run out of chocolate donuts?”) This led nicely into the main course which was “Cheese Mac”. Not your ordinary Cheese Mac though, this one had a delicious cheese sauce along with a lot of other ingredients. With a very willing volunteer from the audience, Michelle showed us how to cook this easy, scrumptious meal.
Dessert was a no bake cheese cake (keeping in the cheese theme) which was truly decadent. (and fully gluten free). Michelle again showed us how easy it was to make. I wish I had taken notes.
After dessert Michelle told us about her grandfather and how hard he worked, but also how much he loved cooking. He dedicated Jimmy Barnes, Working Class Manto him and all the hard workers at the Central Market. With just keyboards and bass backing her, Michelle’s voice rose above the music beautifully.
The evening concluded with the song Celebration, in honour of the Markets 150thanniversary and Michelle had the audience on its feet, clapping and singing along. The only disappointment is I wish we had got a copy of the recipes so we can make these meals at home.
A wonderful and entertaining, not forgetting delicious, show. I have only one regret and that is I didn’t go to an earlier session to review this, so I could have then told you how good it was and to get to see it. There is only one performance left and that has sold out. Sorry!
So, I did not need those three pieces of pizza I had before I went and being coeliac was no problem. There was plenty of food for everyone.