Prestwich crowdfunder restaurant The Pearl lands star chef

Iain Thomas will be behind the burners when it opens next month

By Ben Arnold | 5 October 2023

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The Pearl, the Prestwich restaurant soon to open following a successful crowdfund campaign, has landed itself a new star chef.

Iain Thomas will be at the burners, having previously been head chef at both The Edinburgh Castle in Ancoats, and The Alan, the smart hotel on Portland Street which secured a rave review from critic Jay Rayner.

He’s also the co-founder of Our Place, a roaming supper club which raises money for homeless charities and other great causes.

“We’re very lucky to have Iain join us,” owner Sam Taylor said. “Not only has he joined us fresh off some incredibly exciting projects and glowing reviews, but we’re completely aligned in our passion for simple, mouthwatering, and visually stunning food. The timing couldn’t be more perfect.”

Iain added: “I’m delighted to be partnering with Sam at The Pearl. The Pearl embodies the same ethos as Our Place – local, seasonal, and sustainable produce. I couldn’t imagine a better place for my next chapter.”

Sam raised nearly £30,000 back in August to turn the empty unit in Prestwich village into his dream restaurant, which will champion British produce and British cuisine.

The menus will feature fruit and vegetables grown on Iain’s own allotment in Hattersley, as well as produce from a host of local producers and farmers.

Prior to the Pearl project, Sam had launched SanSanMCR, a pop-up sandwich shop born in lockdown which traversed the food markets of Manchester.

The restaurant is set to open its doors on November 3.