Chef Lee Clarke: Great to be in Michelin, but is our area overlooked by some food guides?

Lee Clarke at Pr�vost in Priestgate, Peterborough EMN-160413-155518001
Lee Clarke at Pr�vost in Priestgate, Peterborough EMN-160413-155518001
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On Monday, we were thrilled to find out that Prévost has made it into the 2017 Michelin Guide. This was a huge achievement for our restaurant, having only been open for six months.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to the whole Prévost team for all of their hard work so far – and to anyone who has passed through our doors for lunch, dinner or a drink.

Big congratulations must also go to those other great local restaurants that made it into the Guide – The Beehive, The Blue Bell - who also received two rosettes from the AA Guide - The Crown Inn, The Falcon Inn and The William Cecil in Stamford, who also received two rosettes from AA.

Together we show that there’s fantastic food being produced in and around Peterborough every day.

There have been some fascinating stories emerging from this Guide season – from Heston Blumenthal re-gaining his 3-stars after a brief sojourn with his restaurant to Melbourne, to the Singapore street stall selling 1-Michelin star food at $2 a time.

But, one of the most notable trends has perhaps been those places not receiving stars – Manchester was omitted again, with no stars there since 1974, and looking across the East of England there are only five or six Michelin star restaurants across the East.

It’s an interest question to pose – it can’t be said that the food isn’t good enough across the region, as there’s some fantastic food and innovation to be seen.

So are the guides favouring more densely populated areas? And why are some guides visiting our area less and less?

These are questions for food critics and writers to debate – for us chefs and food-lovers, all we can do is keep striving to make the best food we can and keep visiting and supporting independent restaurants.

Peterborough should be immensely proud of its expanding culinary scene and while we didn’t get any stars this year, seeing so many restaurants listed is a great statement of intent.

Over the next year, this is our chance to shine and show that the East has something unique and individual to offer – that our food is too good to miss.

Lee Clarke is head chef and patron of Prévost in Priestgate, Peterborough.