The GFG Briefing | 1 March 2019
Published 01 March 2019

Gary Usher is launching a crowdfunder for his new Manchester restaurant

Gary Usher to crowdfund Kala in Manchester, Rockfish opens in Exeter and then looks to Dorset for next launch, top Thai chef to cook at Kiln for one night only and Bristol chef Freddy Bird leaves The Lido to open his own restaurant

Gary Usher announces crowdfunder for new Manchester restaurant

Chef and restaurateur Gary Usher is to launch a crowdfunding campaign for his next restaurant. Kala in Manchester was originally planned to open at the end of last year, but it is now due to launch in May. A Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund £100,000 for Kala will launch on Monday, March 11. It will be the sixth restaurant in the Elite Bistros group, and follows on from Usher’s last Kickstarter project, Pinion in Prescot, raised over £86,000 within an hour of launching. After opening Sticky Walnut in 2011, Usher also crowdfunded Burnt Truffle, Hispi and Wreckfish.

Mitch Tonks to open Rockfish in Exeter next month and then Dorset

Rockfish will open its first Exeter site next month and the Devon-based seafood restaurant chain has announced details of its first Dorset opening. Rockfish at Exeter Quay will open on March 18 in a brand new glass building with outside terrace. The company has also secured a site in Poole in a former pottery building near the harbourside, which will open as a Rockfish later this year. Rockfish was created by chef Mitch Tonks, who also owns The Seahorse in Dartmouth.

Kiln to host one-off dinner with one of Thailand’s most celebrated chefs

Soho restaurant Kiln will host a top chef from Thailand for a one-off guest dinner next month. Werawat ‘Chef Num’ Triyasenawat trained under David Thompson before returning to his hometown in Udon Thani to open Samuay & Sons in a building his parents once used for wholesale clothing. Samuay & Sons has since become one of the stars of Thailand’s booming food scene. The menu at the Kiln event will include a grilled bitter offal and blood sausage and ‘herbal’ fish steamed in banana leaf and served with spicy fish liver sauce. The dinner takes place at Kiln on March 25 and the set menu will be £55. Bookings can be made by emailing

Freddy Bird leaves The Lido to open his own Bristol restaurant

Freddy Bird, the head chef at The Lido in Bristol, has left after ten years. Bird, who worked at Moro prior to launching the restaurant at The Lido, is planning to open his own solo restaurant in Bristol although he has yet to announce details of its location or name.

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