Go to jail for Britain’s latest haute cuisine

October 16th, 2008 - 1:38 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 16 (IANS) You will be body-searched, pass through reinforced steel doors and the door will clang shut after you once you enter your destination. All this for a hearty meal!The Clink is going to be Britain’s latest venture in haute cuisine when it opens next year. And the address is the High Down Prison in Surrey, England.

The restaurant-in-prison is the brain child of the jail’s catering manager Alberto Crisci. When it opens, the prison inmates will cook 1,000 meals for fellow inmates, staff and visitors. And serve a four-course meal, beginning 15 pounds a head, for 80 customers a day.

Dishes will reportedly include pan-fried John Dory, paupiette of chicken with spinach mousseline, roast turbot with broad beans and pancetta, and lavender mascarapone with spun sugar.

Organic produce will be supplied by the prison’s greenhouse and gardens.

Diners will enter the prison gates for a strict search before proceeding through the jail to a lavish dining room sealed with a barred door.

Crisci, a former chef at the prestigious Mirabelle in London’s Mayfair, has run the prison’s kitchens for 11 years. “I want The Clink to be the sound of chains being broken for men who want and deserve a second chance at life. Do we release an ex-offender to no job and a slim chance? Or do we offer him income, purpose and self respect?”

Prison governor Peter Dawson has allocated 300,000 pounds for setting up the restaurant. “Every time a chef or waiter at The Clink serves a meal, they will play their part in dispelling the prejudice and ignorance that gets in the way of successful resettlement.”

The project is expected to help more than 300 prisoners a year, who will be able to gain catering qualifications to help them secure a job on release. To take part, inmates will need security clearance.

But some like Matthew Elliot of the Taxpayers’ Alliance are unhappy that such funds are being made available for serving offenders while educational institutions in the country are facing cut-backs.

“You don’t send people to the prison to have access to the Savoy Grill,” he is quoted as saying in Daily Mail.

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