Inspiring chef cooks up a posh bistro in rundown town centre

Now Gary Usher has turned his attention to revamping an old betting shop into a posh eatery. The chef’s mission to launch Pinion in Prescot, Merseyside – the first restaurant to open there for 30 years – features in a Channel 4 documentary. Cameras follow Gary as he crowdfunds cash, facing scepticism from locals and his own financial adviser, who warns that his high-end bistro in a rundown town centre could fail.

The St Albans-born chef, who now has six restaurants in the north of England, said: “When I was younger I definitely didn’t want to be a chef. I ended up in a kitchen washing dishes because I didn’t feel I had any choices – I was so thick, academically.

“I was taking lots of drugs and I was shoplifting. I was a loser. But when I did start in a kitchen… I was suddenly good at something.”

He went on to cut his teeth at the Michelin-starred Chester Grosvenor, Chez Bruce and Gordon Ramsay’s York & Albany.

Of his decision to raise money from the public, Gary said: “I don’t bother trying the bank first because I know they’ll say no.

“If you put a hundred quid into this crowdfund in Prescot, we’ll give you a hundred quid’s worth of food in the restaurant when it opens.Without that initial money it would be impossible.”

Gary is seen helping young chef Danny settle in the area. Danny, who has struggled with addiction and whose parents died when he was three, describes the chef as a “second dad”.

Gary said: “If you can inspire a group of people by working harder than everyone else, that will come back round – and they’ll work harder than you, for you, with you, because they believe in you.” 

The Rebel Chef: My Restaurant Revolution, Channel 4, Thursday, 10pm

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Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of and Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

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