Sticky Walnut’s Gary Usher to talk crowdfunding at the NRB Debate

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sticky Walnut’s Gary Usher to talk crowdfunding at the NRB Debate

Related tags: Restaurant, Gary usher

Gary Usher, chef-patron of Chester’s Sticky Walnut and sweary social media phenomenon, has joined the line-up of the 2016 NRB Debate.

The annual event, hosted as part of the North’s major hospitality trade exhibition, takes place on 16 March at Manchester Central.

Usher – who crowdfunded the launch of his second restaurant Burnt Truffle - will join Kitchenette founder Cynthia Shanmugalingam and CRU Kafe chef John Quilter on the Food Entrepreneurship Panel.

The chef is currently crowdfunding for his third restaurant Hispi, which opens later this year in the South Manchester suburb of Chorlton.

Usher said: “It’s tough trying to launch any restaurant, let alone when you don’t have big backers behind you, you have to think creatively. I’d be delighted if recounting my own experiences, both good and bad, helped to inspire other chefs and restaurateurs.”

Gary Usher of Sticky Walnut talks crowdfunding and opening a second site

Thom Hetherington, CEO of NRB's organisers Holden Media, said the chef would add ‘perfect balance’ to the discussion.

“When you talk about ‘Food Entrepreneurism’ people automatically think about street food, pop-ups and small scale artisan production but it’s important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater - there will always be a place for the classic model of restaurants run by chef-patrons, but Gary goes about it in an incredibly sharp, creative and contemporary way,” he said.

This year’s NRB debate will feature Observer food critic and journalist Jay Rayner as the headline speaker.

The event will also host the NRB Top 50 awards,​ celebrating the region’s top bar and restaurant operators.

Last year's winners included chef Simon Rogan and San Carlo Group's Carlo and Marcello Distefano.

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