The first restaurant in Britain to serve meals from within the confines of prison walls has been recognised as one of the country’s most sustainable.
Located inside HM Prison High Down, The Clink has been awarded Three Stars in the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s (SRA) Sustainability Rating. This rating places The Clink in an elite group of eateries alongside Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage restaurants.
Assessors from the SRA were impressed with the 92-seat restaurant across its three main areas of evaluation – sourcing, environment and society.
The Clink provides a real working environment for prisoners, giving people the opportunity to change their perception of prisoners and the prisoners a chance to attract potential employers.
Chief executive of The Clink Chris Moore said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the SRA’s highest sustainability rating. Having joined the SRA in 2010 to help us in our mission of being more committed to a sustainable future, it is great to see that the hard work and continuous desire to improve the restaurants sustainability has paid off. The SRA has provided us with great support and positivity throughout our journey to become as environmentally responsive as possible and their recognition of our focus on sustainability, from the food we prepare to the behind-the-scenes operations, is something we are incredibly grateful for.”
Founder trustee and director of operations chef Alberto Crisci MBE added: “Gaining the Three Star rating has made both myself and my team at The Clink very proud. It is so important that restaurants are responsible when it comes to sustainability and it will remain of great importance to us to continually improve how and where we source our produce from, how we can reduce waste and protect the environment.”
The SRA found The Clink to be excelling in almost all aspects of its operation, sourcing more than three quarters of vegetables and salad from within the prison walls, where prisoners are trained in horticulture, and ensuring all meat served is free range. The restaurant also impressed by composting all of its food waste, harvesting rain water and running efficient dishwashers.
Managing director of the SRA Mark Linehan said: “Since the first day it joined the SRA, The Clink has worked tirelessly to implement new ideas to make the restaurant operate as sustainably as it possibly can. We are delighted that the restaurant’s hard work has been rewarded with this excellent rating. The Clink is an inspiration to all restaurants.”