The Clink Charity Ball will see executive head chef, Ben Purton, working alongside graduates from The Clink prisoner training programme and young people from CentrePoint – the leading young homeless charity. These are people who need a second chance in life, and the charity ball gives them the opportunity to work as part of Lancaster London’s banqueting team.
Students from Lambeth College, the University of West London and Westminster Kingsway College, as well as Lancaster London’s apprentices, will be helping to cook and serve on the evening.
The hotel has gone above and beyond to ensure those involved with the ball will be given fantastic experience that will equip them with skills and knowledge that they can use for the rest of their lives – starting with the creation of an exquisite menu.
The menu showcases locally-sourced, seasonal produce including meat from HM Prison Farms and vegetables and herbs from The Clink Gardens at HMP Send, as well as Lancaster London’s in-house smoked salmon and 40-mile cheese board.
All the canapés served on the night will be from The Clink Canapé Cookbook. Recipes included in the book, such as Mushroom and Stilton Tartlets, Tuna and Lime Tartare; and Mini Yorkshires with Beef and Horseradish, were created by Clink trainees, ex-offenders, ambassadors or others friends of The Clink.
Guests at the ball will enjoy a trio of Scottish salmon, pickled mouli, rye crumb, lemon and chive dressing; Herb crusted rack of lamb with baby carrot, mixed mushrooms, braised potato, confit cherry tomato, pea puree and a redcurrant jus; and Granny Smith mousse with blackcurrant curd & lime meringue. As with all Lancaster London events a vegetarian option will be available, as well as specific dishes for those with allergies.
All the accompanying bread rolls will be freshly baked by the prisoners from the Bad Boys Bakery at HMP Brixton, a scheme which also helps train prisoners.
Speaking of the preparations of The Clink Charity Ball, Ben said: “Lancaster London is one of the largest banqueting venues in Europe, and having previously worked with The Clink and its highly trained chefs and waiters we thought this would be a great collaboration.
“Developing young people is at the heart of our core values, so we are looking forward to welcoming the budding chefs into our kitchen to pass on as much knowledge as we can in the time that we have together. I look forward to hearing their stories and learning from them too – it is going to be a very special night!”