Todiwala - whose restuant portfolio inlcuees London's Café Spice Namaste and Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen - is a long-time supporter of The Clink Charity’s work in reducing reoffending.
He previously held the post of chef ambassador for The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton, frequently hosting masterclasses as part of the training received by the prisoner students working towards gaining their City & Guilds National Vocational Qualifications in the restaurant and kitchen.
The Clink Charity’s ambassadors are industry professionals including Thomasina Miers, Silvano Giraldin, Vic Laws, prison philanthropist Lady Edwina Grosvenor and her husband, TV historian Dan Snow. The charity is due to announce new ambassadors joining the team later this year
The expansion includes the launch of Clink Kitchens, a training programme that is rolled out to 70 prisons across England and Wales over the next three years.
Clink Kitchens is now delivering training in six prison kitchens and there are another 17 lined up to start over the next three months.
Students will be trained towards gaining their City & Guilds National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) by chef trainers in a real-life working environment. Students gain soft skills such as learning to work as part of a team, growing in confidence and improving their communication skills. The students train up to 35 hours per week, preparing them to be ‘work ready’ upon release.
In addition to the kitchen training programme, The Clink Charity currently operates Clink@Home, a meal delivery service, from HMP Brixton.
“Albert Roux was an industry giant whose shoes are almost impossible for anyone to fill, so it is a great honour to be asked to take on his old role as Group Chef Ambassador for The Clink Charity," says Todiwala of his appointment.
"Throughout the many years I was Chef Ambassador for The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton, I saw first-hand how prisoner students grew in confidence as they developed their kitchen skills, which can only have stood them in good stead as they returned to the outside world. We cannot all solve the world’s problems, but The Clink Charity has proven its amazing worth by helping to reduce reoffending, and shining a light on the value of cooking skills as a pathway to potential employability.”
“I am delighted that Cyrus has agreed to take on the role of Group Chef Ambassador following the sad death of Albert Roux in January this year," says The Clink Charity chief executive Chris Moore.
"Cyrus has been a Clink Chef Ambassador for the past 10 years and worked very hard with our students delivering masterclasses and hosting fundraising lunches and dinners at HMP High Down and HMP Brixton to support our work in reducing reoffending.”
The Clink Charity has been in operation for 11 years. There are currently 140 Clink graduates who have been trained throughout the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, released from prison and who are ready to start work in the industry.