Prison Food Never Tasted This GoodPrison Food Never Tasted This GoodThe America’s Chef Competition, part of the 14th America’s Food and Beverage Show and Conference held in Miami, included two special competitors late last year: Florida state prison inmates Terry Garrish and Lance Wissinger. 

As part of the faith-based Bridges of America work release/therapy program, these men, who have since been released, completed rigorous culinary instruction and were entered in this prestigious tournament. Their entry is a noted milestone, as this is the first time that inmates have competed. 

Cecilia Denmark, facility director of the Broward County, Fla., office of Bridges of America, commented on this landmark event: “To have had these two men in the competition is one more evidence that God’s hand is on our program. These men have no formal training, but through their instruction they are now tax-paying citizens and productive members of society—which is one of our main goals. 

“But beyond giving members of our programs skills that will help them re-enter the workplace, we are in the business of helping men learn that submission to a higher power is what life is all about. I’m proud to say that many who enter our program leave changed, and God gets all the credit.”

Bridges of America was just awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Institute of Fatherhood for its redemptive work in the lives of inmates. As a result of the program, thousands of felons have not only found new skills to lead new lives, but they have met a God who brings them redemption as well. 

Garrish and Wissinger, who placed fourth in the competition, now work as professional chefs at Ruby Tuesday.

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