Passionate, warm and humble Gary Usher is a chef who is the driving force behind the well-loved British Bistro restaurants Sticky Walnut, Burnt Truffle and Hispi and is renowned for crowdfunding two of his restaurants with great success. A true entrepreneur and a very inspirational speaker
To book Gary Usher for your next event, contact us today.
Read more about Gary Usher
Gary Usher began his career in the kitchens at the age of 14, washing dishes in a local pub. When his family moved to North Wales Gary began working at The Chester Grosvenor Hotel and it was here he got his first insight into working in a recognised kitchen with really passionate chefs.
Fast forward a couple of years to when he moved to work at one of the busiest Michelin-starred restaurants in the country, Chapter One and from there Gary spent the next few years gaining experience cooking in the kitchens of Chez Bruce, Angela Harnett’s York & Albany . He was riding high and he soon went onto take on the role of Head Chef at Jamie’s Italian.
But Gary’s greatest wish was to own his own restaurant and this is where his story becomes fascinating. He came across a building available in Hoole, Chester and couldn’t pass up the chance. He managed to get enough money together to open his first restaurant - Sticky Walnut which he opened in 2010 on a very tight budget. Abudget so small it meant he had to famously choose between an all singing rational combi-oven or new tables and chairs - he went for the oven and it was the right decision! Positive reviews from national food critics and support from the locals meant that Gary had a very busy restaurant and so he decided to open a second bistro. Gary decided to forget the banks and launched a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter and Twitter.
Thanks to Gary’s dedicated, humorous and endearing attitude towards his food and his business, complete strangers wanted to invest, securing him more than £100,000 thanks to 891 backers who made pledges of between £10 and £5000. Burnt Truffle (name decided and voted for by his Twitter following) opened its doors in Heswall on the Wirral in July 2015. Following Burnt Truffle’s success, Gary launched another Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign early in 2016 to open a third restaurant, receiving nearly £60,000 in pledges, almost 20% more than the original target. Hispi (which takes its name from a variety of cabbage, discovered in a dish in France by Sticky Walnut’s Head Chef) opened its doors in Didsbury, South Manchester.
Gary’s accessible, produce-driven and simple dishes have drawn high profile people in the food and restaurant industry to back his campaigns such as; Neil Rankin, Angela Hartnett, Ashley Palmer-Watts and Jesse Dunford Wood. Unable to rest on his laurels, Gary recently announced plans to launch a Liverpool restaurant, Wreck-Fish Bistro in 2017 again through a crowdfunding campaign.