What’s On has details of Pearls By Michael Caines at Jumeirah At Etihad Towers, a new restaurant in Abu Dhabi opening in September.

One of the world’s best chefs is opening a restaurant in Abu Dhabi.

British cooking star Michael Caines will open Pearls By Michael Caines at Jumeirah At Etihad Towers in mid September. It’s the first restaurant outside of the UK for the chef who lost his right arm in a car crash 20 years ago.

Caines has visited the UAE several times to attend the Gourmet Abu Dhabi food festival and last year hinted that he was interested in opening a restaurant in the country.

Aged 46, Caines is one of the best chefs cooking in Britain today. He owns a restaurant at the Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter and has been head chef at the two Michelin-starred restaurant in Gidleigh Park in Devon since 1994. It was named the best restaurant in Britain by the prestigious Harden’s restaurant guide two years in a row in 2011 and 2012.

He also runs The Coach House in Devon, The Townhouse in Shropshire, plus more casual restaurants in Chester, Exeter and Manchester. In 2006 he was awarded the MBE for services to cooking, and has appeared on British TV many times.


Now at the top of his profession, Caines’ journey has been remarkable. Born in 1969, Caines was adopted at four weeks old. He was a star pupil at catering college in England, which led to a stint under the tutelage of Raymond Blanc in England. Caines later moved to France to continue his training with Joel Robuchon and Bernard Loiseau.

He says of the cooking legend Blanc, “Raymond has been a dear friend and wonderful mentor. He wasn’t classically trained and didn’t come to cooking with any baggage. He taught me, like him, to have no boundaries when it comes to thinking about food.”

Caines had just landed the job as head chef at Gidleigh Park in 1994 when personal tragedy struck. Exhausted from working long hours in the kitchen, Caines feel asleep at the wheel and crashed his car. He had to have his right arm amputated and stayed in hospital for six days. Incredibly, he was back at work just two weeks later having been fitted with a prosthetic arm.

“You can sit around feeling sorry for yourself or just get on with it,” he said. “I didn’t want to let this beat me. All the time I’d spent learning my trade, I wasn’t about to give up without a fight. The accident made me incredibly focused on achieving.”

Five years later Caines got his reward as Gidleigh Park was awarded a second Michelin star.