Michelle Pearson, Australia's singing cook, dishes out good food and fun times in 'Comfort Food Cabaret' and 'Just Desserts' at Adelaide Fringe.
Australia's singing cook Michelle Pearson folds her love for food in with her passion for performance to produce two delectable cabaret delicacies as part of Adelaide Fringe.
Michelle is returning to Fringe with her 2018 smash-hit 'Comfort Food Cabaret' ('CFC'), which sees her treat audiences to gourmet home-cooked tastes paired with Michelle's sublime singing and finished with her personal stories.
“For me I really love hosting people for dinner and I love cooking, so actually seating people and serving food are a really big part of that process for me,” Michelle says.
“I wanted to create a dinner party environment with cabaret, that's always what was in my head. So you could say I thought I'd try to figure out a way to bring my two passions together: cooking and hosting people for dinner, and also the singing.”
This year's edition of 'Comfort Food Cabaret' has Michelle exploring the history and lore of Adelaide's iconic Central Market, which turned 150 in 2019. A former tour guide at the markets, Michelle says this year's show is an ode to the traders and their stories of resilience.
“'Comfort Food Cabaret' this year will be quite different to what people have seen before,” she says.
“Obviously we will still have our own personal stories in there but we're really going to try and honour some of the traders because there are some incredible stories among them. Some of them have been working there for four generations and they all know from their father or grandfathers what happened before.”
Michelle's second course at Adelaide Fringe will be the debut of her brand new show 'Just Desserts', which contrasts significantly with 'Comfort Food Cabaret' in terms of style and content.
Taking a more adults-only approach, 'Just Desserts' exacts a healthy dose of revenge on some of society's less-heathy obsessions.
“With 'Just Desserts' we're very much focused on female empowerment and body image, and the show has got a slight theme of revenge to it, because the whole meaning of 'just desserts' is justice and getting what you deserve,” Michelle explains.
“It's also a little bit darker than 'Comfort Food Cabaret' in the sense that we're talking about different subjects that haven't crossed into 'CFC', about equality, body image and some of the stuff people go through; dealing with pits we've never dealt with in 'CFC'. This is much bolder.”
With revenge on her mind, Michelle points out 'Just Desserts' isn't mean-spirited or targeted at any particular group.
“I don't think we are singling out any group and [getting] revenge on them,” she says.
“I like to be very forthcoming and open that this is not an anti-male show, this is not an anti-'this' show; it is very much about revenge on societal pressures, about standing up for ourselves a little bit more – men and women – and learning to be comfortable in your own skin, whatever you are.”
'Comfort Food Cabaret' is on at the Gouger Dining Area (Central Market) 28 February-9 March. 'Just Desserts' is on at Courtyard at Treasury 1860, 28 February-2 March and 8-9 March.