A Suffolk restaurant has maintained it's Michelin star. But with four restaurants in Norfolk holding the same award, it begs the question: why are Suffolk restaurants so far behind? 

Pea Porridge has held its Michelin star since 2021. The restaurant regularly varies its menu, and serves food inspired by North African, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. 

The 2023 Michelin Guide lists several restaurants in Suffolk, including The Leaping Hare, in Stanton, and The Unruly Pig, in Bromeswell. However, Pea Porridge is the only Suffolk restaurant to have a Michelin star.

East Anglian Daily Times: Pea Porridge has held its Michelin star since 2021. Pea Porridge has held its Michelin star since 2021. (Image: Charlotte Bond)

This hardly compares to the Michelin landscape in Norfolk, a county which has four restaurants with stars to their name. The eateries awarded the accolade in the Michelin Guide 2023 are Meadowsweet, Morston Hall, The Neptune and newcomer Store. 

The Michelin star criteria is a very difficult standard to reach. Pea Porridge owner, Justin Sharp, 46, likened it to the "culinary Oscars." 

The criteria includes using quality products - not necessarily luxe ingredients, like foie gras and truffles, according to the Michelin Guide - but fresh, premium produce. 

Restaurants are also assessed for their mastery of flavour, their cooking techniques, the ability to see the chef's personality in their cooking, value for money and the consistency of the quality of food produced. 

Suffolk holds one more Michelin star than Essex, a county with no stars to its name. Cambridgeshire has three Michelin stars.