Neapolitan pizza at the Poggioreale prison in Naples: course and tasting.
At the start of the course of pizza chefs in prison, with a laboratory equipped with two wood-burning ovens from which at least one hundred pizzas come out every day.
Project of the Archdiocese of Naples in Poggioreale, realized thanks to the commitment of Antonio Mattone, director of the Office of Social Pastoral and Labor of the Archdiocese of Naples and for about fifteen years a volunteer in prisons.
The internal pizzeria was inaugurated with a dinner inside the “Giuseppe Salvia Poggioreale” prison on July 14th, while the training activity starts in September.
Even the inmates of the “Poggioreale – Giuseppe Salvia” prison in Naples will be able to eat a real Neapolitan pizza, prepared in the penitentiary by their fellow-sufferers, aspiring pizza chefs.
They will learn a trade, they will study to obtain the relative diploma, and will have an extra opportunity, once they are free, to re-enter the working world.
Many subjects were involved, including universities, the Campania Region, pizza makers’ associations, the Ministry of Justice.
All together to try to give a future to these people who have made mistakes, but who want to get back into the game, therefore a project of redemption and rebirth, as we often tell about our Food stories behind bars.
The Associations of Neapolitan Pizza Makers also participated, to facilitate the placement of the inmates trained with their associates, and the tutoring in a perspective of self-employment.
As the manager Mattone explains:
“The universities Federico II and Suor Orsola Benincasa will take care of the selections to identify the most suitable and motivated inmates, those who really want to change their lives.
The three associations that bring together all the pizza chefs of the city will take care instead of favoring the placement of aspiring pizza masters at the premises of their members, once they are ready “.
In fact, the project aims at job training, beyond the pizza chef diploma at the end of training.
The funding will come for the most part from the Cassa delle finende, whose funds are intended for improvements to prison facilities or projects for prisoners, and for the rest from funds from the Region.
Fifteen prisoners will be identified each year, plus three “reserves” in the event of any renunciation or early release.
These will follow a 65o hour course to learn the trade, and also learn the basic elements to set up on their own, to try to train not only pizza makers but also entrepreneurs.
Inside the prison a laboratory has been set up equipped with two wood-burning ovens from which at least one hundred pizzas come out every day, in two or three different varieties, including the immortal “Margherita”.
As soon as they are taken out of the oven, a small team of couriers begins to go up and down the arms in order to fulfill the orders in a few minutes, because the pizzas must arrive in the still hot cells.
“We have set a very low price, 2.5-3 euros for each, and the prisoners to date seem to appreciate the news very much, given that the orders are constantly increasing”.
In about a year, the second phase of the project can start:
“A second pizzeria, twinned with that of Poggioreale, but outside the prison and therefore accessible to all.
Here the former pizza chefs inmates will be able to carry out their internship or work regularly paid, until they are able to enter the job market permanently “.
In fact, thanks to the intervention of the diocese of Naples, which was decisive in resolving the thousand bureaucratic obstacles, the project received the possibility of using the premises of a church no longer used for worship, the former church of Santa Caterina al Pallonetto di Santa Chiara, in the historic center.
And it is precisely from here that the whole project takes its name, “Brigata Caterina”.
An interesting new food stories behind bars.