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Gary Usher Gets 1 Star

9th Jan 2020

Celebrity crowd-funding chef Gary Usher, the man behind King Street's Kala, Didsbury's Hispi and a number of other bistros in Chester and Merseyside, has been left red faced following the news that his 2 AA Rosette-accredited Burnt Truffle restaurant, in Heswall, was awarded a one star food hygiene rating after its annual visit from Wirral council.


The embarrassment follows the news that Hispi had lost its Michelin "Good Cooking" Plate and completely dropped out of the 100 Best Restaurants in the UK list (from no.46), along with his Wreckfish restaurant in Liverpool (from a lofty no.19).


Whilst the controversial star of Channel 4's "The Rebel Chef: My Restaurant Revolution" initially claimed the second-worst rating possible was a result of a "lack of procedural documentation," it later transpired that inspectors also found a "foul smell" coming from an old unplugged mouldy freezer, together with vacuum packs of raw and cooked food being stored together, risking contamination.


Curried mayonnaise was kept for seven days beyond its shelf life, with pork terrine, cooked chicken drumsticks and cooked duck legs also possibly past their eat by dates as they were “not suitably labelled with the date of packing and/or intended use by date."



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Worryingly, nuts were being stored in open containers on the work surface, close to other garnish items where foods are plated up for service, and, having only one blender, the same jug was being used to blend raw chicken livers for pate, homemade mayonnaise and vegetable purees. 


Additionally, "a build-up of food debris” on a meat slicer, dirty chopping boards and a "seriously damaged" plastic sieve were being used to prepare food and waste was "pooling." 


A soap dispenser was dirty with congealed, semi-solid soap on the dispenser, and cleaning materials were also stored inappropriately in the rear of the yard, where "foul water" was also being walked into the premises.


Leaking water pipes were also found underneath vacuum packing machines and one of the ovens.


Pointing out that all his other Elite Bistros had been awarded the maximum five star ratings, Usher said that he had worked with the Environmental Health Office to fix all of the other issues and had paid for a revisit in the coming months, before taking to his favourite medium of Twitter to apologise:


"This is not written by a PR company & I haven't had advice on media damage limitations. I wrote this. This is me trying to protect my business in the same way I've grown it. With honesty. Once again I'm sorry to every one I've let down."


Gary Usher




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