Italian chef-restaurateur Antonio Carluccio has been appointed chef ambassador of the Clink, the commercial restaurant at Her Majesty's Prison High Down in Sutton, Surrey.
Carluccio, who joins fellow Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli and catering consultant Vic Laws in taking on the official role at the restaurant, which is run by inmates, has over the past year run training workshops for the prisoners and hosted several fundraising events to increase awareness of the charity.
He commented: "To be made a chef ambassador of the Clink is a great honour for me and I am extremely proud of the work and progress that has been achieved over the past 12 months. Working closely with the prisoners has been hugely rewarding and I look forward to continuing the training with them throughout 2012."
The Clink chief executive Chris Moore added: "To have such a highly regarded chef with so much valuable knowledge of the industry, as Antonio has, is of huge benefit to the prisoners' learning and development. It is a delight to welcome him as a chef ambassador for the coming three years and we all look forward to what is set to be another successful year."
The Clink Charity is an innovative programme that works towards the rehabilitation of prisoners and securing its graduates full-time employment within the hospitality industry upon their release.
So far it has trained 111 prisoners since opening in 2009, 26 of whom have been released with 22 currently in full-time employment and just two reoffending.
The day-to-day running of the Clink restaurant is overseen by Catey winner Alberto Crisci, catering manager at High Down Prison.
By Kerstin Kühn
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Published by: The Caterer