Sabrina Mahfouz's Fringe First-winning monologue follows a former head chef who finds herself in prison, running the kitchen behind bars.
With only an industrial kitchen counter, whiteboard and a harsh strip light for company, Jade Anouka expertly delivers Mahfouz's poetic words, all inspired by real-life situations and events.
Chef's philosophy for food matches that of her life; plain and simple, but so good they never forget it. She uses food as a way of escaping the awful things in her life – neglectful partners, abusive father – and indeed, when books are banned in jail, she writes recipe books to keep herself sane.
Opening with a description of the perfect peach, Mahfouz interjects moving stories from Chef's life with beautifully written tales of dishes – coconut curried tofu, yellowtail sashimi – through which shines her complete passion for her craft.
As more and more of Chef's story comes to light, and the unfairness of her situation shines through, you can't help but agree that she's in the dark corners of someone else's dream.
Chef runs at Underbelly until 17 August
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