After being much lauded and sizzled, Conviction Kitchen vanished from our schedules as soon as it was seen to be up against the Underbelly Files. An interesting first move for Channel 7 so early in the ratings year, however one that will pay off to give it a spot with a great lead in where it will likely stick the boot into the competition (look out Ben Elton). It looks to be a stand-out early in the year… will you watch? I think it looks spectacular, with all the elements you want from a reality show, yet shot more as a documentary. From the press release:

Twelve convicted criminals will be offered a second chance when Seven’s captivating new program CONVICTION KITCHEN premieres on Tuesday, February 22 at 9.30pm.

Helmed by executive chef Ian Curley, with restaurant manager Lisa Parker and sous chef Vital Syverin, CONVICTION KITCHEN follows the heart-wrenching journey of the twelve trainees as they learn how to run a high-end, a la carte restaurant.

Half of the trainees will work front-of-house under the watchful eye of Lisa Parker while the other six reside in Ian Curley’s kitchen domain. At the end of the restaurant’s run, two trainees – one from the kitchen, one from the floor – will be offered sought-after apprenticeships with Curley at The European.

Convicted on a variety of charges – ranging from drug-related offences, stealing, dangerous driving and fraud – the trainees will be taught the skills to not only deal with the high-pressured hospitality industry, but also with life.

Filmed as a docudrama, CONVICTION KITCHEN’s cameras will follow every step of the process, gaining unprecedented access into one of Queensland’s toughest prisons as well as the trainee’s parole appointments.

Renowned for his straight-edged approach to man and meat alike, Curley said CONVICTION KITCHEN would literally change lives.

“This isn’t a cooking show. We’re trying to help people get back on track with their lives and give back to the community. It’s about giving them the skills to not only get a job after Conviction, but also to implement positive habits in general,” Curley said.


Conviction Kitchen – premieres Tue 22/02 9:30pm, Ch7.