Chef Gary Usher from Cheshire’s the Sticky Walnut restaurant has raised over £24,085 in less than 24 hours as part of a Kickstarter push to open his second site.
The head chef is seeking £100,000 by 4 November, to help launch the Burnt Truffle. Sticky Walnut itself won the Menu of the Year Catey award in 2013, catered for the 2014 Cateys, and was named AA Restaurant of the Year 2014-15.
He launched the campaign via Twitter last night, with a humorous video from graphic designer Dan Burns. It introduces the restaurant team and key dishes, and explains where the money – if raised – will go, including on a new oven and a walk-in fridge.
The video features Usher trademark comical-rude style, for which he has become known on social networking site Twitter, on the @stickywalnut account.
“I hate asking for help,” he says. “But we can’t do it without you. I’m ridiculously f***ing excited.” Having launched the appeal last night, the chef has updated his followers on the amount raised ever since.
Anyone pledging more than £10 will receive: A personalised thank you note (£10); their name etched into the Founders’ Wall in the new site (£25); recipe cards and photos from Sticky Walnut chefs (£30); a branded apron (£50); lunch or dinner for two or four, and an invite to the launch (£100/200); a personalised meal for up to 50 people, and a Sticky Walnut pork belly masterclass plus lunch for up to 50 guests (£5,000).
Pledges are being accepted at Kickstarter here. A number of other chefs have already pledged, including Alan Murchison, Jesse Dunford Wood and Neil Rankin.
Sticky Walnut first opened in 2011, on a tight budget which meant the team had to, in its own words, “choose between new tables or a new oven”. It now seeks to provide “good honest food served in an unpretentious environment”.
Kickstarter is an online fundraising platform that allows users to ask for donations for creative projects, in return for merchandise and/or gifts, depending on the amount pledged. Only projects that reach their funding targets within their set timeframe receive any money.
Other restaurants to have announced new Kickstarter funding targets in recent weeks including Pizza Rossa, in London’s Leadenhall market, which has asked for between £2,000 and £35,000 to help develop its delivery business.
The first Pizza Rossa site was opened in April, entirely funded by Kickstarter pledges, after the company raised £440,000 in 17 days, breaking the European 2013 record for a start-up.