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Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL joins The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton as chef ambassador
Following the successful launch of The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton on Wednesday 26th February, Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL has been appointed as chef ambassador for the restaurant, following in the footsteps of other industry greats including Italian legend, Antonio Carluccio, chef ambassador for The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down.
Since the mid 1990s, with his wife Pervin, Todiwala has managed to expand his culinary footprint from Café Spice Namasté to two additional London restaurants as well as The Park Café in Victoria Park, East London. Widely regarded as having raised the bar in Indian cuisine in the UK, Todiwala has channelled his fervid imagination to create inspiring dishes, showcase the depth and excitement of Asian food and what can happen when using well-sourced, sustainable ingredients.
As chef ambassador, Todiwala will dedicate his time and expertise to the prisoners at The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton, training the chefs, as well as helping to increase awareness of the charity and its work in reducing reoffending.
Cyrus Todiwala comments: “It’s an honour to be a chef ambassador for The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton and one of the team of ambassadors. The reasons are many, but it is especially meaningful when one can contribute towards improving the lives of others. To give individuals that might have taken a wrong turn the opportunity to do right and to help pave their way a great future is very rewarding. My role will be to add a little bit more to the current programme, which is fabulous. I shall endeavour to do as much as I can with the time I have.’
Chris Moore, Chief Executive of The Clink says: “To have such a highly regarded chef with so much knowledge and understanding of the industry is of huge benefit to the prisoners in training and their development. It is a great honour to welcome Cyrus on board as chef ambassador for The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton.”
The Clink Charity opens the doors of The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton – the charity’s third training restaurant – following the official launch event today, Wednesday 26th February 2014.
The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton is the latest milestone in the charity’s development and growth. A brand new concept to come to London, the restaurant is part of a wider resettlement programme taking place at HMP Brixton to drive prisoner rehabilitation through education across a range of disciplines with the charity specifically focusing on hospitality.
In partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS) there will be a total of 10 training facilities and projects in operation across the prison estate by 2017. The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton will train up to 28 prisoners at a time in both cooking and front of house service, working in a true-to-life environment, under the guidance of experienced trainers to achieve nationally recognised City & Guilds qualifications.
With the sole aim of reducing prisoner reoffending, The Clink Charity mentors each graduate weekly for a further six to 12 months, once training is completed and prisoners are released, supporting them in finding full time employment. Continued mentoring is crucial to the ongoing rehabilitation of prisoners in the UK with The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down achieving a reoffending rate of just 12.5% in 2011 compared to the national average of 47%.
Jeremy Wright MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Minister for Prisons and Rehabilitation was in attendance at the opening, saying: “We know that one of the keys to tackling our sky high reoffending rates is equipping offenders with the skills and work ethic they need to help them find a job on release.
“The Clink is an excellent example of this and I am genuinely impressed by the standard of the work and the results I’ve seen so far.
“Encouraging meaningful work and training in prisons will help offenders address the issues that led to their imprisonment in the first place so they can turn their lives around for good – reducing reoffending and preventing so many needless victims of crime.”
Commenting on the launch of the restaurant, Chris Moore, chief executive of The Clink Charity, says: “The launch of The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton is testament to the ongoing success of the charity and its positive influence on the national rehabilitation of prisoners. Through the use of The Clink’s Five Step Model of recruitment, training, auditing, employment and mentoring, we are contributing to the reduction in prisoner reoffending in the UK.”
Reservations at the restaurant follow the same strict approval process as operated at The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down in Surrey, limiting entry to those with a genuine interest in the Charity, including companies, charities, community projects and philanthropic individuals. Those looking to book a table will need to complete the booking enquiry form and await a response from the reservations team.
Online bookings for London’s most exciting new restaurant have officially opened with table reservations for lunchtime bookings and meeting room hire available from Thursday 27th February 2014 onwards by visiting www.theclinkrestaurant.com/restaurants/book-now.
As part of The Clink Charity’s ongoing development and growth plans, which will see a total of 10 training facilities in operation across the prison estate by 2017, in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS), the online booking platform will enable the restaurants to manage the overwhelming number of booking requests. With over 18,000 people dining at The Clink Restaurants at HMP High Down and HMP Cardiff last year, the opening of the first training restaurant in the capital has been eagerly anticipated by supporters of the initiative and those who have more recently discovered the charity.
Chris Moore, chief executive of The Clink Charity comments, “As with all areas of the training restaurants, we rely on generous donations from philanthropic individuals and organisations to support our ongoing growth. Our online booking system has been kindly developed and provided by Nudge, the provider of custom-built eCRM platforms for the hospitality industry, who are keen to support the restaurants as we continue to expand.”
Reservations will follow the same strict approval process as operated at The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down in Surrey due to the restaurant being located in the heart of the prison.
To find out more about The Clink Charity and its training restaurants and to find out how to get involved, please visit www.theclinkcharity.org.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
Each of The Clink Charity’s restaurants uses the Five Step Programme, developed by the charity, where prisoners with between six and 18 months left of their sentence are selected, following in-depth testing to assess their suitability to the scheme. On completion of their training, mentors work with the prisoners to find employment opportunities within the UK and upon prisoners’ release, mentors meet them at the gate and support them through the employment process. Once a job has been secured, the mentor will visit the graduate at their place of work on a weekly basis for a minimum of six months to ensure their continued commitment to their own rehabilitation.
Offering a memorable dining experience, The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton is close to central London, offering the ideal location for lunch for both businesses and members of the public who want to support The Clink Charity’s vision in reducing reoffending rates by changing public perception and providing prisoners with real-life experience of the hospitality industry.
75% of prisoners who leave prison without employment secured reoffend within five years. The Clink Charity believes that through the training offered in its restaurants, reoffending is dramatically reduced and can be seen in The Clink Restaurant’s 2011 reoffending rate of 12.5% following one full year of release. This is a huge decrease from the national reoffending rate of 47%. Independently examined 2012 statistics for both restaurants will be available in early 2014.
About Nudge: Nudge is the sales-engine behind successful hospitality operators including Drake & Morgan, Grand Union and EHM. Nudge drives sales with elegant enquiry and reservation management, flexible table management, secure transactions, personalised email marketing, rewards and more, encouraging customers to re-visit, spend more and tell their friends.
We are pleased to announce that Jane Sanderson has been appointed as operations director of The Clink Restaurants, assuming overall responsibility for the day-to-day running of its three prisoner training restaurants.
An experienced project manager with in-depth knowledge of the hospitality industry, Jane’s new role as operations director for The Clink Restaurants will see her work in partnership with Al Crisci, in his new role as brand and training director. With the restaurants registered as City and Guilds training centres, Al Crisci and his team of trainers and assessors will train up to 132 prisoners at a time over the three sites during 2014.
Jane’s knowledge and expertise of the hospitality industry, combined with her dedication and passion for improving an organisation’s systems and processes to achieve the best results possible, will be invaluable to strengthening and expanding The Clink concept. Jane brings with her over 27 years’ experience within various business sectors, up to director level, including global corporate, public sector, retail, contract catering, fine dining and training restaurants.
Most recently, Jane was UK catering operations project manager for Elior’s Marks & Spencer division, and her career portfolio includes Goldman Sachs International, Leith’s Catering and Roux Restaurants.
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