“Not only will I serenade you but you’ll also get fed.”
Pearson’s opening remark is music to both my ears and rumbling stomach.
In a brightly-lit and slightly out-of-the-way community centre on Franklin Street, a group of about 30 people assemble for a dinner party like no other.
Pearson is our hostess and entertainer for the evening and, with the help of some volunteers, she will show us how to make three dishes inspired by her personal experiences of love, loss and family.
Along the way we are treated to some soulful singing and practical cooking tips. The mood is homely and laid-back, and Pearson’s powerful voice fills the room as she serenades us with hilarious originals and well-known covers.
Food-wise the meals are small but tasty, with each of the three courses accompanied by stories from Pearson’s life. A hatred of apricot chicken inspires the sweet/savoury entrée, followed by a family connection to Lebanon for the main. For the final course, Pearson shares an incredibly personal tribute, leaving us pondering the power of food and its connection to memory.
With an encore requested and dishes scraped clean, we leave Comfort Food Cabaret with full hearts. Pearson’s passion for the show is palpable and her team have done an excellent job at creating such a warm and inviting atmosphere away from the Fringe hubbub in the city’s East End.
For anyone looking to kill two birds with one stone, this is definitely the show for you. Quality entertainment plus delicious food makes it a dinner party to remember.
Comfort Food Cabaret is showing at The Joinery on Franklin Street until March 17. Read more InDaily Fringe reviews and stories here.