The GFG Briefing | 1 June 2018
Published 01 June 2018

Gary Usher

A new crowdfunding target smashed for Gary Usher, ex-Gleneagles restaurant manager goes solo in Edinburgh and a trio of new sites for the Barrafina team

Sticky Walnut owner hits crowdfunding target for fifth restaurant in record time

The chef-owner of north-west bistros Sticky Walnut, Burnt Truffle, Hispi and Wreckfish has comfortably hit the crowdfunding target for his fifth restaurant. Gary Usher raised more than £60,000 in an hour for 55-cover bistro Pinion in Prescot, Merseyside, which he plans to open later this summer. Usher says dishes will include chicken liver pâté, apricot and cumin chutney, toasted brioche and braised featherblade of beef, celeriac puree, Parmesan and truffle chips.

Ex-Gleneagles manager to open new Edinburgh restaurant

A former manager of Gleneagles has announced plans to open his own restaurant in Edinburgh this month. Juan Jose Castillo Castro, who worked at Gleneagles for a decade, will open 83 Hanover Street with his partner, Vanessa Alfano, serving small plates. Scottish ingredients will drive the menu, with dishes inspired by Castro’s Chilean childhood, including citrus-cured seafood and empanadas. Castro also runs a bar called 99 Hanover Street close to the new restaurant.

Former Locanda Locatelli chef heads up kitchen of new Covent Garden fresh pasta restaurant

A chef who trained at Locanda Locatelli and Pied a Terre is opening a new fresh pasta restaurant in Covent Garden. Called Bancone, it’s the first head chef position for Louis Korovilas, who has teamed up with owners William Ellner and David Ramsey. The menu at the restaurant on William IV Street will include burrata, datterini, English heritage tomatoes and basil oil; fried polenta, portobello mushroom and lardo; slow-cooked 10-hour oxtail ragu with pappardelle; spring lamb with rosemary, garlic and tagliatelle, and Amalfi lemon syllabub with lemon granita. After a week of soft opening, the restaurant launches officially on June 23.

Three new King’s Cross openings planned by the Barrafina team

The team behind Barrafina, Quo Vadis and El Pastor is to open two new restaurants and a wine bar in London’s King’s Cross. Part of the Coal Drops Yard canalside retail quarter, the Harts Group plan to launch a new Barrafina tapas restaurant, a Mexican restaurant called Casa Pastor and a wine bar called The Drop. The group is crowdfunding the expansion into King’s Cross and hopes to open in October.

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