Gourmet Fare at Prison Banquet

Glasses and cutlery were polished in Cork Prison as it became the first Irish prison to host a pop-up restaurant.

Six inmates who have completed its new practical culinary skills programme cooked a four-course meal for 56 invited guests, including 22 hoteliers and restaurateurs, who were seated in the prison’s education unit and on B3 landing as part of the unique 'The Open Door' event.

All six inmates have worked in the prison’s kitchen, serving three meals a day to up to 260 inmates. The ‘Open Door’ meal was a serious step-up in quality with a starter platter featuring roast butternut and chilli shot with pancetta croutons, smoked salmon with lemon creme fraiche, and tomato bruschetta.

The event was organised by the Irish Prison Service in association with Munster Technological University's (MTU) Department of Tourism and Hospitality, the Irish Association for Social Inclusion Opportunities (IASIO), which helps find accommodation and work for newly released prisoners, and Cork Education and Training Board (CETB), which has been running education programmes in Cork Prison for some 40 years.