A MAN from Dudleston Heath has stars in his eyes after winning a highly sought-after restaurant award.

Chef-patron Simon Martin, 29, not only received a mention in the world-famous Michelin Guide for his restaurant Mana, but the high-end establishment has also received a Michelin Star.

Situated in Ancoats in Manchester city centre, Mana is the only restaurant in Greater Manchester to have won the acclaimed star for more than 40 years and is one of only 29 restaurants in the whole of the UK and Ireland in this year’s guide.

Simon, a former student at the Maelor School in Penley, is delighted at receiving the accolade, only 12 months after setting up shop in the city.

“Words cannot describe the emotions,” said Simon. “I think it’s a great achievement to be awarded a star for the first guide we were eligible for.

“It’s a testament to the hard work, dedication, drive and passion everybody here shows every day.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted and I’m extremely proud of. It still hasn’t really sunk in. It’s the greatest achievement of my life.

"If I were to sum up my restaurant in three words, they would be: alive, evolving and immersive, but above all this, Mana is my canvas, my studio and my home.

"For four days a week, I invite guests to join me here so that I can share my life's work with them."

Being a chef was not always on the radar for Simon, who said that because of a knee injury, his semi-professional career as a motorcross rider came swiftly to an end.

“I was basically doing nothing so my father rang up the closest Michelin Star restaurant to our home saying ‘my son wants to be a chef’," Simon added.

“I had no such aspirations at the time but my father thought it would be a good fit for me so I went along with it.

“I didn’t particularly enjoy the job for a couple of years but then I started to appreciate the discipline and a love of food followed learning the intricacies of how a kitchen operates.

“Being a chef allows you to travel a lot too. I’ve been lucky enough to work in Australia, Copenhagen and all around the UK.”