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Conviction Kitchen – Fresh Basil Is Not On The Centrelink Diet

When talkback callers were saying they wouldn’t want to be served by people with criminal backgrounds I thought it bizarre. Daily we are probably interacting with people who have criminal records.

Channel Seven probably won’t give us the full catastrophe of their backgrounds, however I bet high percentage of them would have been victims of physical, sexual or emotional abuse.

Also chances of someone pinching your bag with three cameras on you are slim. However, former escort and drug trafficker Mirjana was about to take a swig of wine which was in breach of her parole conditions with a camera right in her face.

Anyway these guys deserve a break,  they have not had great childhoods, and have battled with mental illness. Let’s hope they make the most of it.

Quite frankly I found their stories heart wrenching and teared up a few times, particularly when Jared’s boy said to him “daddy stay?”.  I am really hoping Jared can pull it together, but I do get the vibe that he could go off the rails at any time. I think put him with his mates add in some alcohol and things could get very ugly indeed.

Josh also seems very young and emotionally immature, but I feel for him as he is living in a homeless shelter with 32 other men. So imagine the dysfunction in there, and he does not appear to have much family support.

Ian Curley was surprised that most of his charges had not eaten  fresh produce. Why is that a surprise fresh basil, camebert cheese and oysters are not really on the Centrelink diet, and most of these people are not doing break and enters to eat lobster.

Also thought it was a bit naughty that Ian gave the letters of Queensland Probation and Parole to read, considering their is a high rate of literacy in the Australian prison population. Talk about being put on the spot.

The show is riveting and will definitely gain an audience particularly now it is going to follow My Kitchen Rules on a Monday night. It is much watch TV, and Ian Curley and Lisa Parker a perfect in their roles – tough but compassionate.

The people who will be working in Conviction Kitchen are:

Belinda 35 –

A former private school girl and police officer, Belinda turned to drugs as a way of dealing with depression. She recently completed an 18-month probation period for drug and fraud charges.

Silene 37 –

Silene was jailed twice for the production of amphetamines. A former drug addict, Silene has been completely clean for over one year.

David 22 –

David served time in the Australian Army – while in the army, he was imprisoned for dangerous driving and fraud.

Adrian 27 –

Adrian was imprisoned three times for drug and stealing offences, varying from 21 days to one year. Adrian’s brother passed away while he was in prison – Adrian was escorted by prison guards to his brother’s funeral.

Mirjana 45 –

Recently imprisoned for heroin trafficking, Mirjana has been incarcerated for an approximate period of six years and eight months in total since 1990. A former madame running several brothels, Mirjana applied for CONVICTION KITCHEN to gain experience in a regular career.

Lisa 27 –

Lisa gave birth to her youngest son while in jail, serving a nine-month sentence for fraud after she stole approximately $30,000 from her employers while working as a accounts officer.

Troy 40 –

A former prison cook, Troy has repeatedly spent time in jail over the last 14 years for stealing, driving and drug-related offences. He decided to apply for CONVICTION KITCHEN as the first step in rebuilding his relationship with his 17-year-old daughter.

Josh 25 –

Formerly a severe drug addict, Josh served three prison sentences for stealing and drug-related offences – his longest sentence was one year and two months with court- ordered parole. Josh is currently living in a homeless shelter.

Anastasia 19 –

After running away from a troubled home life in her early teens, Anastasia spent several years living on the streets. She was convicted for stealing and spent six months in jail.

Kristy 25 –

A former hotel manager charged with four counts of fraud and ordered by the court to repay $26,000 worth of debt. At the start of filming, Kristy was broke and living in a homeless shelter.

Jared 27 –

Found from inside the Woodford Correctional Centre, Jared has 277 charges of stealing due to numerous break and enters.

Anthony 19 –

A young expectant father, Anthony robbed a service station at knifepoint to raise funds for his brother’s funeral. After family and friends rallied to his cause, Anthony was sentenced to 18 months probation and 80 hours community service.

I am looking forward to watching their journey on the way to redemption. Fingers crossed all of them make it.


1 MolksTVTalk { 03.02.11 at 10:39 am }

It’s thoroughly engaging, the cast and the narrative draw you in and I so want them to succeed.

I think it will draw better ratings at 8:30pm on Monday nights – but the battle with TIYL will be interesting.

2 seepi { 03.02.11 at 10:41 am }

Interesting show – but why put Packed to the Rafters in between.

I wouldn’t want to be trying to wrangle these guys into real work – it will be fascinating to see how they go.

I felt sorry for the young bearded guy who didn’t get picked from woodforde. I would swap hi for homeless shelter guy, who is going to lose the plot fairly fast I think.

Inability to eat oysters seems to be a cooking show essential.

3 Reality Raver { 03.02.11 at 11:25 am }

MolksTVTalk – I think This is your life is a different demographic.

Seepi – always guaranteed good tv – bring out the oyster or the offal, I know plenty of non-crims who eat neither.

4 brain dead dave { 03.02.11 at 1:39 pm }

I find the show arresting and captivating.

I love the guy with the big night out at “Sizzlers”. Too much.

Sizzlers is where grannies used to go and fill their handbags with salad et al. They went broke here when pokies came in.

5 brain dead dave { 03.02.11 at 1:55 pm }

PS I guess Troy forgot to tell us that he ran out of Sizzlers without paying.

6 brain dead dave { 03.02.11 at 2:04 pm }

I can’t wait they make some some profiteparoles….

7 Shrikey { 03.02.11 at 2:24 pm }

The show is interesting despite the fact that it’s exploitative. Plus it’s a bit bleeding heart, choosing the best sob story rather than the best skill or enthusiasm. I guess the sob stories bring in the ratings. I still can’t look away from the screen, I’m hooked.

It’s going to compete with House in the new timeslot. I can’t go without House. I wonder if the episodes will be available online for Conviction Kitchen. The first episode had an encore screening over the weekend, but I can’t see the second ep being encored.

8 Fresh basil | 2p-tech { 03.04.11 at 5:31 am }

[…] Conviction Kitchen – Fresh Basil Is Not On The Centrelink Diet … […]

9 Stevie { 03.08.11 at 12:18 am }

And the victims of these criminals?? What about them??

10 Reality Raver { 03.08.11 at 12:54 am }

Stevie – I think the point of the judicial system in Australia is once you have served your sentence you are deemed to have been punished and then have the opportunity to get on with your life.

If support is not given to people in the jail system they are at a high risk of them re-offending when they get out, therefore meaning there are more victims.

11 Stevie { 03.08.11 at 1:39 am }

But would you like to see someone who has victimised you personally, leaving you quite traumatised on television? A second chance yes, give them training give them skills and all of that, people deserve the chance to change and Im sure they all had reasons for what they did, but I really disagree with it being televised, without any apparent regard for the people who were victims of the crimes that were committed by these people.

12 Anonymous { 03.15.11 at 9:02 am }

You can all do this and move on………Adrian keep going your heart is in the right place now……. stay cool you can do this……everyone you are all doing so well…..keep smiling and be happy the road ahead is good

13 sophie { 04.12.11 at 6:16 am }

Loved the show but only 2 able to work in Melbourne was so sad. Wish a job had been set up for each one of them. I’d never watch this show again. Its a tear jerker. Praying for all the contestants to get good jobs in hospitality business and Adrian should get a job in a restaurant as he looks good in uniform and makes an excellent waiter. The restaurant which hires him would get lots of female customers. So happy for David. Wish Anthony, Jared or Adrian were picked to work in Melbourne.

14 Angie { 04.12.11 at 8:32 am }

I wish the “jokey” as well as Anatascia had been picked. Also, I thought Silene was an excellent pick to go, but thought maybe it would have been nice if Mirjana went too (even though she is a shocker to look at and might possibly scare the diners, she did try really hard). I don’t think Jared would have been good to go to Melbourne.

15 sandra { 05.02.11 at 11:32 am }

I worked in a prison for 3 months recently and ate daily at the prison canteen. The food was excellent, salads, stirfys, pastas, excellent healthy food all prepared by the inmates. In the kitchen I observed safe food prep procedures (gloves, hats, aprons), good order and team work. Nearly all the staff ate at the canteen daily, or had meals delivered to their stations in take away style.