Cork prisoners cook for potential employers at impressive pop-up prison restaurant


Males in custody at Cork Jail had the chance to impress potential employers by exhibiting off their expertise within the kitchen at a pop-up restaurant, contained in the jail.

After an intensive 8-week Sensible Culinary Abilities programme, six mannequin prisoners showcased their cooking expertise on Tuesday at ‘The Open Door’ – the jail’s ‘pop-up’ eatery.

Over 8 weeks, contributors attended the schooling unit twice every week and have been tutored by a lecturer from the MTU Tourism & Hospitality Division and a house economics trainer with the CETB Jail Training Unit.



JJ Healy, Lecturer Dept of Tourism and Hospitality MTU educating educating culinary expertise to contributors of the Open Door programme earlier than the pop-up restaurant occasion in Cork Jail.

Starting from simply 18 years-old to early thirties, the six males have honed their chef expertise with a view to probably land a job in meals service as soon as their sentence is up.

Throughout from the cell unit, tables with white linens have been arrange within the hall of the jail schooling unit.

Surrounded by art work from the jail’s budding artists, over 20 potential employers from the Cork hospitality sector dined and met their six cooks who’ve been getting ready laborious for the event.



JJ Healy, Lecturer Dept of Tourism and Hospitality MTU on the Open Door occasion in Cork Jail.

The Jail hopes that by supporting the rehabilitation wants of individuals in custody, that it may supply an answer to employers within the Hospitality and Tourism Business to fill the present workers scarcity with expert and motivated new workers.

The Open Door restaurant occasion is hosted and catered by prisoners who’ve labored with educators to develop their expertise into employable belongings – with intention to go on to achieve jobs in hospitality.

The initiative is in collaboration with the Division of Tourism & Hospitality at Munster Technological College, Irish Affiliation for Social Inclusion Alternatives (IASIO) and Cork Training and Coaching Board – who all say they’re happy with what has been achieved.

Governor of Cork Jail, Peter O’Brien mentioned the undertaking “will improve the rehabilitative and employment choices for all those that work and prepare right here within the years to come back”.

A Cork native, Mr O’Brien has labored in prisons throughout Eire, returning to Leeside in 2016 to take over Cork Jail.

Talking with Cork Beo, he mentioned he’s “so, so proud” of his prisoners and what they’ve achieved,

“It is completely incredible,

“Not solely with The Open Door, however the engagement with all our schooling alternatives right here,



Barry Owens, Operations Supervisor IASIO, John Fitzgibbon, Cork ETB, Peter O’Brien, Governor Cork Jail, President of MTU Prof Maggie Cusack and Dr Noel Murray, head of Dept of Tourism & Hospitality MTU

“A number of the lads are available in with totally different ranges of schooling, some with no Leaving Cert, some with solely a Junior Cert,

“And whether or not they are available in with little interest in schooling, all of them do discover what they’re good at, and what they’re focused on,

“It is incredible to see them interact with what we’ve got right here,”

“It truly is a gateway to additional employment, and has a domino-effect, the place prisoners will get out and share expertise with household and their kids,

“Each prisoner desires to get out, and it is a actual step to employment as soon as that day comes.”

Alongside the hallway the place the pop-up restaurant is within the Training Unit, are specialised coaching and lecture rooms for prisoners to additional their schooling and construct upon their expertise.



MTU college students establishing tables on the Open Door occasion in Cork Jail.

The woodworking room showcases spectacular work, together with a full dimension working rocking chair, doll homes, kids’s toy bins and extra. The artwork room homes skilled pottery and ceramic items, and scores of matchstick artwork tasks – a jail custom.

The economic kitchens are the place the prisoners have been perfecting their cookery – and getting ready their sensible menu to be served to their VIP company.

Triple cooked glazed pork stomach, smoked salmon and a Cork tackle Eton Mess are on the menu, to call just a few.



The menu for Cork Jail’s The Open Door restaurant


The menu ready by taking part prisoners for The Open Door restaurant

Working within the kitchen has been massively common among the many prisoners.

Entry Officer at MTU’s Cork Campus mentioned:” “This initiative developed following a profitable MTU Taster Lecture Collection within the Jail which was delivered by volunteer tutorial workers,

“There was an curiosity from the contributors to study extra about Culinary Abilities and it was nice to have the ability to design and ship a Particular Goal Award that permits prisoners a chance to avail of studying alternatives and {qualifications} that make them extra employable when launched.”

Together with the expertise of a “reside” operational restaurant area, the prisoners will obtain accreditation from their course, a Particular Goal Award in culinary expertise and the EHAI Main Course that features Meals Security and HACCP coaching which lets you safe employment in Motels, Restaurant and the Catering trade in Eire.

IASIO Chief Govt Officer, Paddy Richardson, has been working carefully with the undertaking, and has seen simply how far the prisoners have come.

“To see the prisoners develop expertise they’re good at is superb to see,” he mentioned,

“It really works, the coaching works, and does put together contributors to be able to progress additional, for employment and schooling.”

John Fitzgibbons, Director of Additional Training and Coaching with Cork Training and Coaching Board added: “It is nice to see,



An MTU pupil establishing tables on the Open Door occasion in Cork Jail.

“Not solely does it give them one thing to do, one thing constructive, one thing their good at and focused on, but it surely lays down and builds on the inspiration for schooling, and naturally employment,

“Many individuals will assume, and naturally it is true, many prisoners would not have had a complete lot of schooling of their childhood,

“It is a smart way for them to have the ability to transfer previous errors and go additional than they might have thought.”

IASIO Chief Govt Officer, Paddy Richardson hopes that programmes like The Open Door will be replicated in different prisons as a option to introduce employers and prisoners.

“It has the potential to be replicated elsewhere and hyperlink extra shoppers to employers with actual, sustainable jobs locally,” he mentioned.





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