STAFF AT a local restaurant in Reading are celebrating after they managed to retain their Michelin start for the 19th year running.

L'Ortolan, an independently-owned French-style restaurant in Shinfield, Reading, received the news that it would retain its star at the end of last month, despite the issues faced by the lockdowns.

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Head Chef, James Greatorex, said: “It has been an incredibly tough year. Having taken over at the beginning of 2021 we have had to constantly change and adapt our approach due to the current pandemic however retaining the star has been such an emotional moment for all of us.

"It is a first for me and I really cannot put into words how grateful and humbled I am. It is the best birthday present I could have wished for!"

Reading Chronicle:

"We are a very young team but we have a strong brigade of brilliant chefs whose dedication and passion have brought us this far.

"We are now more fired up than ever and cannot wait to open our doors again and continue to push the boundaries further”.

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It is believed that Mr Greatorex may be the youngest Michelin Starred chef operating in the UK currently, however this has not been confirmed.

Owner, Peter Newman said: "Once again I am very proud to have retained our star and I am grateful for the way in which the team have all pulled together during a very difficult year.

"I am also very impressed with our young head chef, James, only 24 years old, and could well be the youngest Michelin starred chef in the country today.”