Last week, we asked our restaurant manager Paolo a few questions about how he ended up with us, what he likes about Pearson’s Arms and what he’s looking forward to.
Here’s what we found out…
How Paolo came from Italy to Whitstable
Paolo studied catering school in Italy for 5 years and received a diploma as restaurant and bar manager. Simultaneously, he worked his way up from pizza runner in the restaurant next door, to getting the chance to gain experience in high-end restaurants.
However… “I soon realised that in order to get somewhere I needed to speak English, so 10 years ago I took the decision to move.”
In England, he had to start from the bottom again at an Italian restaurant and again worked his way up to becoming the manager. “I worked double shifts and went to school in my breaks. It wasn’t much fun but it was all worth it in the end.”
5 years on, it was time to look for something new and he took the opportunity to work for Richard Phillips. “I wanted a new challenge in a slightly different atmosphere” he says. Too right – going from managing an Italian restaurant to a seaside restaurant and pub is quite a left turn.
He started out as assistant manager and got to know the different aspects of the bar/pub side of the business as well as the back of house work. He’s now proud to be restaurant manager at one of Whitstable’s best restaurants.
What makes Pearson’s Arms stand out
Paolo sees Pearson’s as a bit of an all-rounder…“It’s the kind of place you could spend the whole day in. Great restaurant upstairs, lively bar downstairs, relaxed and cosy atmosphere… I don’t think there are many places like it and surely not around here.”
It certainly is a bit unique – a high-quality restaurant with beautiful seaside views that offers regular fantastic live music, great cocktails and a warm and friendly atmosphere. Not a common thing even if we do say so ourselves!
What to look forward to over the next few months
We’re already in the middle of the famous Oyster Festival… “our busiest time of year for us and Whitstable.” But there’s lots more going on. In particular, Paolo has his eyes on the beer festival and regatta, as well as the regular Sunday live music sessions that always bring in a lively crowd.
After that, Paolo is taking a well-earned break before coming back with many more events planned. “We are a machine that never stops, so plenty of events have already been arranged for the restaurant. One of which will involve Richard himself cooking a tasting menu here.”
Paolo’s current favourite dish
“My favourite dish at Pearson’s changes all the time as Craig’s food (head chef) is delicious. But if I really had to choose I would go for the smoked haddock with poached egg and the light curry sauce at the moment, it works so well all together.” The haddock can be found on our à la Carte and, incidentally, is brilliant value at £14.95.
Paolo’s current favourite drink
“My favourite drink is a classic but always great… amaretto sour (of course it had to have something Italian in it!). It has been updated through the years I have been here but now I think we got the perfect recipe.” If you’re looking for the ideal time to try it, come down for 2-4-1 cocktails on a Wednesday or a Friday.
That’s about all Paolo had time to give us. Make sure you make time to try out his recommendations!