Sticky Walnut owner welcomes top chef Tom Kerridge to his Liverpool restaurant

Reporter:

Matt Warner

STICKY Walnut owner Gary Usher welcomed Michelin-star chef into his kitchen for his Liverpool debut.

After starting his career in the kitchens of the Grosvenor Hotel in Chester, Gary Usher is building a gastronomic empire in the North Wales thanks, in part, to successful social media campaigns.

After a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, he opened Wreckfish Bistro in the Ropewalks area of Liverpool city centre in October this year.

With the campaign receiving high profile support from celebrities and several Michelin star chefs, last week saw the turn of chef Tom Kerridge who cooked a six-course menu at Wreckfish for more than 100 guests, his first time cooking in Liverpool.

Chef and restauranteur Gary launched a £200k crowdfunding campaign earlier in the year to open a fourth restaurant, Wreckfish. Five months down the line he had raised £208,956 thanks to 1,522 backers.

When the tickets launched for the event, all places sold out in just 15 minutes, raising more than £11,000 towards the Kickstarter total. They were available on a “first come, first served” basis, with impatient Kerridge fans claiming “it was like waiting for Glastonbury tickets!”.

Guests were treated to a Michelin star menu, which included: pork puffs; lovage soup with Bramley apple, smoked eel, ham and cheese tortellini; chalk stream trout, rye, celery and olive sauce; chicken chasseur with tomato fondue, roasted shallot and soft herb crust; smoked pineapple, whipped fromage blanc, almonds and rum, and The Coach profiteroles with crème Chantilly and 70 per cent chocolate sauce.

During his time at Wreckfish, Kerridge labeled Gary Usher a “beacon of light for young chefs”, adding that he is hugely influential for a lot of young chefs in the industry.

Gary said: “We couldn’t have opened Wreckfish had it not been for the overwhelming support we received from some top chefs. It’s amazing to think that we’ve been open less than two months and already hosted some of the UK’s most high-profile chefs.”

After working at the Michelin-starred Chester Grosvenor, followed by time spent at Chapter One, Chez Bruce, York & Albany and Jamie’s Italian, Gary opened Sticky Walnut in Hoole in 2011.

After a few years, Gary decided to open a second bistro using a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter and Twitter to raise more than £100,000 thanks to 891 backers who made pledges of between £10 and £5,000. Burnt Truffle opened its doors in Heswall on the Wirral in July 2015.

Email:

matt.warner@nwn.co.uk

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