Thom, 41, was one of the team that founded the PPA-award winning Restaurant magazine and the 50 Best Restaurants in the World awards. Currently he is CEO of Holden Media which organises the Northern Restaurant & Bar (NRB) exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards, the NRB Top 50 Powerlist, the NRB Debate, Buy Art Fair (BAF) and The Manchester Contemporary (TMC). All of these nationally significant events are based in Manchester, and exist to celebrate the city and the wider North.
Thom is a British Food Trust trustee and board member for Hospitality Action and Pro:Manchester’s Hospitality Sector Group, as well as advising the Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Museum on f&b strategy and mentoring cultural entrepreneurs for an Arts Council scheme. He also sat on boards including Urbis and the NW Food Tourism Executive. Additionally Thom judges awards including MFDF and the North West Tourism Awards, and reviews for guides including Mr and Mrs Smith and Hardens. He was also chosen as one of Crainâ€™s ’40 Under 40′.
In 2014 Thom has launched and chaired the inaugural NRB Debate and taken BAF/TMC to their new home at the iconic Old Granada Studios. He has shaped charity Action Against Hunger’s Northern strategy â€“ their ‘Too many Critic’s’ dinner raised Â£15k â€“ and championed Manchester’s resurgent dining scene by speaking at BDO’s Restaurant Conference and at MMU, as well as luring national critics to up North and generating coverage for the region in titles ranging from Caterer & Hotelkeeper and Restaurant to Olive and the Guardian.
Since September 2014 Thom has been appointed trustee of the renowned Castlefield Gallery as well as being made an ambassador for Manchester Metropolitan University’s new Hospitality Business Management degree. He was also named as one of the “Most Influential Mancunian Tweeters” by PeerIndex, and was crowned “Man of the Year” in the Downtown in Business Manchester “Mancoolian” awards. Then he had a cup of tea and a biscuit.