Friday, February 15, 2013

Do you remember???

I was watching television early this morning, and saw a new program featuring Gordon Ramsey.  For those not familiar with this man, he owns several successful restaurants in the United Kingdom, and has made a reputation coming to the rescue of restaurants on the fringe of failure.

To say he is abrasive and brash is being polite, and in all honesty, there is no polite way to describe Gordon Ramsey, normally.

However the show I saw this morning was something vastly different, it is titled Ramsey Behind Bars.  Now I some people who would love to see Gordon Ramsey locked up behind bars and the key thrown away, and to be honest, at first that is exactly what I thought had happened here.

But it was not, and what this program is about is giving people a chance to make something of their life, give them a set of skills and open a door way for them when they leave prison.

I know how a lot of people would react, why waste our time, these people are in prison because they broke the law, why would they ever change.

Well before I continue my review of this program, this is where I put my question.


I know, I am screaming at the top of my voice with this question; however I am doing so, so you do not miss the question.

There was a time, and it does not seem so far back, that I remember that we would give people a second chance, whether they be a person down on their luck, or a former criminal trying to turn their life around.

We have become judgemental and now we feel that no criminal should be let lose, they will only come out and do it again.

Some do, and some get lost and fail because no one will even give them a chance.  It could have been a kid who was a first time offender and was locked away for several years.  

That kid, may not have skills, and in many cases, with the exception of making license plates many don't.

So this is where Gordon Ramsey comes in.

See I got back to the review, after getting you to think, sneaky eh?

Gordon Ramsey has been working inside one of the toughest prisons in the U.K. and has come up with a revolutionary concept, train prisoners to become top line cooks and chefs.  

You can get off the floor now.

He started with 12 prisoners, of mixed backgrounds, and he began by getting them to be top line pastry cooks.  Teaching them how to make treacle an English pastry with a semi tart frosting.

He went out to present these to the public, as Bad Boys Pastries.  He found a sample market, and found people would respond positively.

He wanted to take it up a notch and see if he could do lunch time sandwiches of mixed types, but he ran into problems, the prison system does not have enough staff to guard the prisoners and escort them from their cells at six in the morning, so even though there would be a definite market, the prison system found a way to say no.

This is a problem that Ramsey kept running into, the fact that he a businessman was coming into their realm and trying not only to do something, but succeeding at something the prisons could not, would not do.

However Gordon Ramsey is not a quitter.  He looks at a problem and finds a way to still make crapes Suzette.

So he downsized going back to the pastry idea, and redesigning the pastry, so it could be sold nationwide in coffeehouses.

To launch this he had his eight chefs in training turn out a three course meal for 50 of the most prominent people in the U.K. market place as well as the head of the prison system.

The meal went remarkably well.  Now the question remains, can Bad Boys Bakery become a success and a long term enterprise that helps many to turn their lives around.

I do not know, I have not as yet seen the final episode of this series.

I can and will say this.

I realize this is being done in an entirely different country, with different political system to some degree.  However should this be successful, I hope that we will be brave enough to do this here in the United States.

If this can turn the life around of 8 to 12 people per prison, to begin with, these people become successful workers and eventually owners of their own restaurants, they can have more of a positive impact than any Government program, written by lawyers with no concept of how the real world works.

Lets' hope Gordon Ramsey succeeds for the good of the people of England and the rest of the world.

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