16 Apr 2015

Cook Islands inmates learning to cook

7:26 am on 16 April 2015

Inmates at Aorangi prison in the Cook Islands have been learning to cook in a bid to up-skill and ensure they eat more healthy and local produce when released.

The Cook Islands Tertiary Training Institute's chef Sam Timoko has been teaching low-risk inmates who are soon to be released how to prepare local ingredients, and dishes such as lamb shanks and chocolate brownie.

Mr Timoko says the course was well received by the inmates, one of whom now wants to open his own cafe.

He says the course has a number of aims.

"One of them is to consider a career in hospitality. But also so that they could a lot better at home. I mean Polynesian over the last probably 40, 50 years has gone really heavy, you know. So we're focussing on using a lot of fresh local products."

Sam Timoko says he hopes to run another course in a few weeks time, and also run a course in the prison kitchen to teach the cooks how to best use the products available to them.

Cook Islands feast

Cook Islands feast Photo: Supplied