Jail’s haute cuisine to replace porridge as part of Devizes Food and Drink Festival

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Jail’s haute cuisine to replace porridge as part of Devizes Food and Drink Festival Jail’s haute cuisine to replace porridge as part of Devizes Food and Drink Festival

Diners will get an insight into prison life at the same time as sampling cordon bleu cookery as part of Devizes Food and Drink Festival.

The annual gastrofest has given Erlestoke Prison’s governor, Andy Rogers, the chance to indulge in an initiative he has been longing to do for years.

He will be setting up a pop-up restaurant in the prison’s newly revamped visiting room next Friday, at 6pm.

Mr Rogers said: “I was waiting for the right opportunity. The food and drink festival was that opportunity and we can now use the visiting room, which has only recently undergone a complete refurbishment.

“The food will be cooked by our prison chefs and some of the prisoners who are taking an NVQ in catering.

“This will give them the opportunity to cater for members of the public, as they prepare for release and, hopefully, jobs cooking in restaurants and pubs. It will be good training for them.”

Starters will be a choice between Thai fishcakes and chicken liver pate.

The main courses will include slow-roasted belly of pork, supreme of chicken or a vegetarian option.

Dessert will come from the prison’s own bakery, Guilty Pleasures.

There will be 30 diners, five of them prison staff paid for by Mr Rogers, and there are only a few of the remaining 25 tickets unsold.

Proceeds from the evening will be donated to Victim Support and the Friends of Erlestoke Prison.

Diners will be escorted through the main gates and will have to hand in any mobile phones, cameras and other prohibited items.

To book for dinner, email Heidi.Cope@hmps.gsi.gov.uk

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