August 2017 marked the fifth year Rimutaka Prison has welcomed stakeholders and paying guests to enjoy delicious gourmet fare as part of the Visa Wellington on a Plate festival.
Prisoners were mentored by Corrections catering instructors, celebrated chef Martin Bosley and two guest chefs, James Pask (Whitebait) and Kristan Mulcahy (Dillinger’s and Green Man).
Demand was so high, tickets had to be purchased through a ballot and the event was sold out. As in earlier years, evening dinners were prepared and served by prisoners to around 240 guests over three nights.
For the first time, three pop-up lunch events were held the following week. Food prepared by the same prisoners and sold from a caravan in Wellington’s Midland Park was snapped up by the locals.
Gate to Plate highlights the potential for prisoners to make positive gains in their lives as they work towards release back into the community. Achieving sought-after catering qualifications, and serving restaurant quality meals, will help them find sustainable employment giving them a better chance of living crime free lives.
“The dinner was totally delectable. It was a privilege to hear the men’s stories, see them having a purpose to their days and hope for a future on the outside.” Jodi Mitchell