Pea Porridge 'flying the flag for Suffolk' as it is presented with county's only Michelin Star

Justin Sharp (left) receiving the Michelin Star award from sponsor David Scott of Lavazza Coffee

Justin Sharp (left) receiving the Michelin Star award from sponsor David Scott of Lavazza Coffee - Credit: Jess Coppins

A restaurant owner says they are "flying the flag" for Suffolk as they are presented with the county's only Michelin Star.

Justin Sharp, head chef-proprietor of Pea Porridge in Bury St Edmunds, described it as "just amazing" to receive the coveted Michelin award.

Pea Porridge, which Mr Sharp runs with wife Jurga, who manages front-of-house, received the accolade a decade after it was given the Michelin Bib Gourmand award.

Today, they received a plaque marking the Michelin Star from David Scott, a representative of Michelin awards sponsor Lavazza Coffee.

Chef-patron Justin Sharp with wife Jurga, who manages front-of-house, and their Michelin Star

Chef-patron Justin Sharp with wife Jurga, who manages front-of-house, and their Michelin Star plaque - Credit: Jess Coppins

Speaking with us, Mr Sharp said: "It's like the pinnacle of every chef and restaurant owner's career and obviously a massive highlight and the biggest highlight I will ever achieve.

"And especially for the town it's fantastic as well.

"To be the first one in Bury St Edmunds and the only one in Bury St Edmunds, it's really great for the town, especially with all the doom and gloom of the last 14 months or so."

He added: "And further afield it's the only one in Suffolk too. It's nice to be flying the flag for Suffolk."

Pea Porridge in Bury St Edmunds is awarded the Michelin Star. Chef-Patron Justin Sharp (left) receiv

Pea Porridge in Bury St Edmunds was awarded the Michelin Star a decade after getting a Michelin Bib Gourmand award - Credit: Phil Morley

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Mr Sharp said they had refurbished the kitchen ahead of reopening on May 19 after further lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

The menu keeps the much-loved Pea Porridge ethos but features Moorish influences - flavours from North Africa, the Middle East and Turkey.

Mr Sharp said: "What I do here is cook very naturally and instinctively and utilise the best ingredients I can get hold of at the time."

The Michelin Guide describes Pea Porridge as "high quality cooking, worth a stop!"

"It’s warmly and personally run by a husband and wife, and has a homely, slightly bohemian vibe, with wooden furnishings and interesting artwork hung on exposed brick walls," it says.

Mark Cordell, chief executive of the town's Business Improvement District (BID) group, of which Pea Porridge is a voluntary member, said: “We’ve known for some time that Bury St Edmunds is the foodie capital of Suffolk but Justin, Jurga and the team have really proved that now with the town’s first ever Michelin-starred establishment and the only Star held by any restaurant in Suffolk in decades.

"I congratulate them on this fantastic achievement and look forward to their re-opening next month.”

The restaurant will be open from Wednesday to Saturday for dinner and at lunchtimes from Thursday to Saturday. Bookings are strongly advised. For more information visit the website.

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