Brixton Prison restaurant staffed by inmates opens

Sous chef and trainer at Brixton, Jason Toussaint Sous chef Jason Toussaint is training prisoners at the category C and D prison

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A restaurant in a south London prison staffed by inmates has opened to the public.

Diners are able to eat food prepared and served by prisoners in the former governor's house at HMP Brixton.

The Clink - run by The Clink Charity, which also has restaurants at HMP High Down in Surrey and HMP Cardiff - aims to train prisoners nearing the end of their sentences.

The serving of alcohol is forbidden on the premises.

Security procedures

Chris Moore, chief executive of the charity, said yeast - which can be used to make alcohol - is also banned in the prison so sourdough is used in meals instead.

From the menu (No porridge)

  • Starter - Pressed ham hock terrine, apple gel, mustard mayo & sourdough bread
  • Main - Braised beef cheek in red wine & cèpe jus served with creamed tarragon potatoes & seasonal vegetables
  • Dessert - Lemon tart, ginger sorbet & blackcurrant coulis

He said: "Everyone that works in The Clink has been through the prison service's security procedures and these men are nearing the end of their sentence.

"The sole aim of the charity is to reduce reoffending and we recruit prisoners throughout the prison and train them up over a period of six to 18 months to gain their City and Guilds qualifications in food service and food preparation."

He said the restaurant will give prisoners "valuable skills to get them back in society".

The prison is category C and D which, said Mr Moore, means inmates are low risk and unlikely to attempt escape.

A three-course meal with coffee will cost around £21 a head, Mr Moore said.

A meal at The Clink A three-course meal with coffee costs about £21, said Chris Moore

A security application form needs to be filled in by diners in advance and prisoners are not allowed to dine, he added.

In 2012, more than 15,000 people visited The Clink Cymru and The Clink HMP High Down.

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