Prisoners cooking up a storm for diners

  • Louise Upston

Prisoners taking part in this year’s Visa Wellington on a Plate are learning skills that will help them make positive changes in their lives, says Corrections Minister Louise Upston.

It’s the fifth time Rimutaka Prison has taken part in the event, and demand for tickets to its Gate to Plate this year was so great that a ballot had to be held.

Dinner will be prepared and served by a group of prisoners to around 240 paying guests over three nights starting on 15 August.

“If these men are able to gain catering qualifications and serve up restaurant quality meals, they’ll be able to find good jobs and have a far better chance of living crime-free on release,” says Ms Upston.

This year, as well as the dinners, three pop-up lunch events will be held the following week. Food made by the prisoners will be sold from a caravan in Midland Park in Wellington.

“The ongoing success of this event is the result of collaboration with industry groups and people giving back to their communities,” Ms Upston says.

Chef Martin Bosley with two guest chefs, James Pask from Whitebait and Kristan Mulcahy from Dillinger’s and the Green Man, have been working with Corrections catering instructors to mentor the prisoners in preparing and presenting the gourmet meals.

“I think Corrections and Martin Bosley can be very proud of creating something so positive inside Rimutaka Prison,” Ms Upston says.

Corrections has produced a video which can be viewed on its Facebook page