Join us at The Clink for an exclusive lunch cooked by three of Surrey’s best chefs

The Clink restaurant

The Clink restaurant - Credit: Archant

We’ve teamed up with The Clink Charity to host an exclusive lunch, cooked by three of Surrey’s best chefs and prisoners in training at HMP High Down

Enjoy food prepared by Surrey's top chefs and The Clink trainees

Enjoy food prepared by Surrey's top chefs and The Clink trainees - Credit: Archant

A prison might not sound like the ideal venue for a slap-up meal but if you’ve ever been to The Clink restaurant at HMP High Down, you’ll know the prisoners in training there put on a pretty good spread.

Prisoners in the last six to 18 months of their sentence are trained to obtain accredited qualifications in catering to improve their employability upon release. The restaurant is open to the public and is designed to simulate a professional working environment while also breaking down barriers and changing attitudes towards prisoners.

Having awarded The Clink our Pride of Surrey Award in 2016, Surrey Life has now joined forces with the charity to offer readers the chance to dine at the restaurant for a very special three-course lunch, cooked not only by the training prisoners but three of the county’s top chefs.

The trio includes current Surrey Life Chef of the Year and head chef at Michelin-starred The Tudor Room at Great Fosters, Douglas Balish; Fred Clapperton from The Clock House in Ripley, which was also awarded a Michelin star in the latest round of judging, and Steve Drake, who opened Sorrel in Dorking last year having previously held a Michelin star for a number of years.

The three chefs will take a course each, leading a small team of prisoners in preparing, cooking and serving the dishes, which will include locally-sourced ingredients, giving diners an exclusive opportunity to experience cooking by a hat-trick of leading chefs at one sitting, while also giving back to charity.

Reoffending costs the UK economy up to £13bn a year with 46 per cent of adult prisoners re-convicted within one year of release. The Clink’s five-step training programme helps offenders break the cycle of crime, by nurturing self-belief, through learning work place skills and offering nationally recognised qualifications.

The ticket includes a welcome mocktail and a three-course meal

The ticket includes a welcome mocktail and a three-course meal - Credit: Archant

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The Five Steps: Recruit, Train, Support, Employ and Mentor dramatically reduces the rate of reoffending, with those who have completed the programme 41 per cent less likely to reoffend.

“The Clink Charity breaks the cycle of crime by changing attitudes both inside and outside of the prison, creating second chances and transforming lives whilst reducing reoffending rates for the benefit of society as a whole,” says charity chief executive Christopher Moore. “This is accomplished by training for an NVQ and a mentoring scheme in one of the four award-winning restaurants open to the public.

“The trainees work towards an NVQ level 2 in Professional Cookery and/or Food and Beverage Service. On release, our support workers assist the Clink graduates with housing, accommodation and anything else that will help they reintegrate back into society.”

Many of The Clink’s graduates have gone on to work in some of the country’s top restaurants and catering companies – including some in Surrey – and this event will give current trainees a taste of what it would be like working for award-winning chefs.

Join us and Surrey’s top chefs at The Clink restaurant on May 22, 2018.

Click here to buy your tickets.