After announcing the event just before 10am today, head chef of Simpsons Nathan Eades took to Twitter to confirm that the one-off dinner had sold out by 12.27pm.
The two restaurants – which both featured on this year’s National Restaurant Awards Top 100 list, with Sticky Walnut at number 74 and Simpsons at number 56 ‒ are set to collaborate for one night only on 7 November.
Final bookings reached 60 seats, although the team is considering perhaps holding an ‘early bird’ 6pm sitting before the later dinnertime service, in response to a high demand.
Simpsons will be closed for the lunch service beforehand, to allow the chefs to prepare.
Chef director Luke Tipping told BigHospitality today that the dinner will span five courses, but no menu has yet been decided. It is likely to be an entirely Sticky Walnut-created menu, however, he said, rather than half-Sticky, half-Simpsons.
The idea for a collaboration came after Tipping travelled to Chester for his wedding anniversary and had a meal at Sticky.
Commenting on the fast sell-out of seats, he said: “It just proves the power of social media. We’re chuffed – I wasn’t expecting it to be quite that quick. It’s a nice position to be in.”
“It’s just a bit of cross-pollination for us really. It’s great for our staff to see something like this. The menu [at Sticky Walnut] is obviously quite different to what we do as it’s so relaxed.
“It’s all just friendly, chef banter; it’s all about meeting new friends and gaining more experience. It will certainly give us an insight into how that style of food works, and we’ve got a great platform for [Usher’s team] to show it off.”
Speaking about the menu, he added: “It’ll probably all happen with the same spontaneity as this did in the first place.”
Sticky Walnut is the first restaurant for Chez Bruce-trained chef Gary Usher and his team, whose estate has since grown to three venues with the opening of Burnt Truffle in the Wirral area, and the soon-to-open Hispi Bistro just outside Manchester. Both sites were funded with the help of crowdfunding via online service Kickstarter.
Simpsons, which has held a Michelin star since 2000, is located in Edgbaston, and owned by chef-turned-restaurateur Andreas Antona (also of The Cross at Kenilworth and pub group Purecraft).