Food & Drink

‘I couldn’t care less about Michelin’: Chef Gary Usher chats to MM on Manchester’s missing star

The last time Manchester was awarded a Michelin star was in 1974 when The French at the Midland hotel featured in the first ever guide.

But since then Michelin has snubbed Manchester restaurants year after year.

In 2014, the BBC documentary series Restaurant Wars followed head chef of Manchester House Aiden Byrne and then head chef of The French Simon Rogan in their quest for a Michelin star.

But despite The French undergoing a major refurbishment, neither restaurant made it into the 2017 guide.

This ultimately led to Rogan’s resignation and Byrne tweeting “It just doesn’t make any sense.”

However not all restaurateurs are reeling at Manchester’s exclusion from the guide.

Gary Usher, chef-proprietor of new bistro Hispi in Didsbury told MM: “Personally I couldn’t care less. I don’t really think Mancunians care either.

“I think there are restaurants which should have been included in it but I think there’s too much of a deal made about it.

“That’s really not what restaurants are about. It’s definitely not what business is about so I don’t think it matters.”

On the subject of Hispi reaching for the stars in 2018 he added, “Rich (Sharples) is the head chef here and Gareth (Jones) is the manager and any accolades that do come if they come to Hispi are for those guys.

“I couldn’t care less about Michelin but for a pat on the back for the guys it’d be brilliant. I’d be over the moon for them. “

Manchester’s Michelin star hopes for 2018 will largely be pinned on new ‘space age Asian’ restaurant The Rabbit in the Moon which opened at the National Football Museum last week. 

Owned by former Manchester United stars Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, the restaurant will be overseen by creative director Michael O’Hare whose Leeds restaurant The Man Behind The Curtain was awarded a Michelin star last year. 

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