Cork Prison opens pop-up restaurant as inmates get ready to show off their chef skills

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A special pop-up restaurant will open in Cork Jail next week as inmates get ready to showcase their cuisine.

The invitation-only special event takes place on Tuesday with six prisoners ready to cook delicious creations after completing an eight-week culinary course.

Guests are invited with hospitality management students from Munster University of Technology (recently known as CIT) who make up the front part of the unique team house.

They named the restaurant ‘The Open Door’.

The program is run by the Department of Tourism and Hospitality, and it is designed to help students and inmates develop their skills for future employment.

Deirdre Creedon, Access Officer at MTU’s Cork campus, welcomed this laudable initiative saying that “this initiative has grown out of a successful series of MTU Taster lectures in the prison which have been delivered by volunteer academic staff.

“Participants wanted to learn more about cooking skills and it was great to be able to design and deliver a special purpose award that provides inmates with learning opportunities and skills that make them more employable once released. »

Describing his experience delivering the module, JJ Healy, Culinary Lecturer at MTU, said: “I have enjoyed seeing the improvements the students have made in their culinary skills as they progress through the program. and really enjoyed working with the Access Office, Cork Jail and the Education and Training Commission.

Dr Noel Murray, Head of Tourism and Hospitality at MTU, welcomed the collaboration between his department and the Irish Prison Service on the program saying: “I am delighted to be involved in this fantastic initiative. For centuries, education has been considered essential to the moral development of individuals and to the well-being of society.

“This program has the potential to have a major impact on these participants, challenging them to develop their culinary skills and gain a formal qualification, improving their employment prospects when they re-enter society.”

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