Gary Usher hosts tasting menu at Restaurant 1539

Chef Gary Usher prepares the fish course at the pass at Restaurant 1539
Chef Gary Usher prepares the fish course at the pass

Chef and restaurateur Gary Usher has created a special tasting menu at Restaurant 1539 in the centre of Chester.

The evening comprised of a Champagne reception in the roof space of the restaurant, where 50 guests were welcomed with Laurent-Perrier on arrival. Guests then made their way down to the restaurant, where Gary introduced the evening and told of his story to date, including the continued success of Elite Bistro Group. Starting from the humble beginnings of Sticky Walnut – the primary influence for the evening’s menu, to the most recent opening of Pinion, the group now has an impressive portfolio of five bistros. 

Talking intimately with his guests, Gary said: “I’ve been very honest from the start. It’s honesty that made the critics stand up.”

Gary went on to explain the detail behind his rustic themed menu of four carefully constructed dishes, a dinner based on the ethos and style of Sticky Walnut, stating, “rustic for me means simplicity, no fuss, faff or garnishes.”

Each dish was primarily made up of just three elements, beginning with a garlic infused carrot in honey, served with crème fraiche and a walnut dacquoise biscuit. The fish course, a cured cod loin served with bacon and turnip in a horseradish broth was a delicate affair with complimenting flavours. The highlight of the evening’s menu, a chargrilled beef fillet accompanied by a sticky roscoff onion and Jerusalem artichoke stole the show, the melt in the mouth fillet sourced locally from Lancashire.

The fillet of beef at Restaurant 1539
The fillet of beef at Restaurant 1539

A dark chocolate custard choux bun served with orange marmalade and sugared almonds concluded the gastronomic experience for the evening, a dish Gary felt synonymous with Sticky Walnut and his talented team.

Following the four-course sitting and a carefully chosen wine flight, guests were left feeling more than satisfied.

Restaurant Manager Andre Sievers said: “The menu is indicative of the style of food we like to emulate. Gary’s story is a triumph and having him here this evening has been both a delight for our guests and the 1539 team.”

Every Friday throughout November, Head Chef Daniel Speak and his brigade will be offering guests their own five-course taster menu for just £55 per person. The menu includes inspired dishes featuring the best ingredients the season has to offer. An accompanying wine flight is also available for an additional £35 per person.

Commenting on the new tasting menu, Andre said:“This menu is a taste of what we deliver consistently well. It is a showcase of both the dishes we’re most proud of and the ambition we have to define new concepts for our loyal serving customers.”

Only three tasting evenings remain in this series of events. Book your table online at or call the restaurant to book over the phone on 01244 304 611.

Head Chef Daniel Speak deep in concentration
Head Chef Daniel Speak deep in concentration