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social pantrySocial Pantry has teamed up with young offender charity Key4Life to give young ex-offenders the opportunity to work alongside top chefs to create a five-course menu for the Social Supper Club on 26 April.

Selected for their hardworking approach to rehabilitation, five selected participants will be paired with a chef and focus on a course each.

The chefs taking part include: Adam Handling of the Frog, Richard Falk and Robin Gill of the Dairy, Lee Westcott of the Typing Room and chef-author Anna Barnett.

The ex-offender will also take part in a three-day restaurant kitchen work taster during the week prior to the event to produce a dish for the night. Alongside live cooking from the chef teams, selected Key4Life individuals will be directly involved in the project through paid front-of-house and kitchen porter roles.

Alex Head, founder of Social Pantry, said: “I truly believe that everyone deserves a second chance in life and I’m incredibly proud that Social Pantry as a business is able to give people this chance. The Social Supper Club is a brilliant way to help raise awareness of the Key4Life scheme in a creative, positive and safe environment. We’re thrilled to have Adam, Anna, Lee, Richard & Robin on board and can’t wait to see what each chef partnership produces on the night.”

Gill said: “I’ve had a very happy and fulfilling career through cooking but it wasn’t always so. I never excelled at school and growing up, dropped out of every opportunity that came my way. During my teenage years I had run-ins with the police that could have potentially led me on another path. I’ve always felt that one needs a purpose and passion in life; the kitchen is accepting to all and non-judgmental. If we can help to change one persons path for the better, it will all be worthwhile.”

Handling added: “I’m really excited to be getting involved with the Social Pantry supper club and having the chance to cook alongside some fantastic chefs. The work that Key4Life do fits with my philosophies of supporting young people and so I’m proud to be a part of it. At my restaurant, The Frog E1, we’re particularly focused on supporting and nurturing young talent – from employing young chefs to displaying art from emerging artists on the walls. I’m sure the supper club will be a fantastic evening and I hope we manage to fundraise plenty of money for Key4Life.”

The aim of the Social Supper Club is to support young offenders’ rehabilitation and raise awareness of the high rate of re-offending among young males ages 18-25.

Tickets cost £50 – all profits from ticket sales will be donated to Key4Life.

Social Pantry was founded in 2011 by Alex Head. She now oversees a team of 25 staff based at three sites across London.

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