Pea Porridge in Bury St Edmunds becomes only restaurant in Suffolk with Michelin Star
The co-owner of a Bury St Edmunds restaurant has spoken of his shock and joy after it received a first Michelin Star, making it the only eatery in the region with one.
Justin Sharp, who has run the neighbourhood restaurant Pea Porridge with wife Jurga since 2009 and is also head-chef, said he never thought what he was doing would 'fit in with the Michelin remit.'
The latest Michelin Star comes off the back of holding a prestigious Bib Gourmand for 10 years.
"To go one better than the Bib Gourmand is unthinkable really," Justin said.
"That's what makes it even more pleasing, because it's just so different for the guide to consider offering a Gourmand to a place like us.
"It's just incredible. It pays off for all the hard work we've endured over the years, and I couldn't be prouder."
The restaurant prides itself on a 'cosy, homely, laid back ambiance' but Justin admitted to get to this stage had depended on hard-work and commitment.
"I've been at this since 15, and sacrificed a lot in my younger years," he said.
"Then you just develop as you go, you move around, you garner knowledge, learn off different people, have different experiences, and you take these things with you on your journey.
"We've been at Pea Porridge for 11 years and it's just been a progression through the years."
Justin said he celebrated last night with a whiskey from his home-town distillery in Scotland, on what was conincidentally Burns Night.
"I can't really take it in," he said.
"It's just a dream come true," he added.
"I've got to savour the moment, and wear the Michelin Badge with pride."
Meanwhile, Karine Canevet from Maison Bleue won a Sommelier Award from the Michelin Guide as well.
For reaction on that, see this Friday's Bury Free Press newspaper.