There are only sixty-seven Michelin stars in Britain, and chef Martyn Pearn was awarded one of these in 1993. Michelin stars are not like Brownie points or the Booker Prize: earning a star involves dedication similar to that shown by crusader knights in winning their spurs. It requires single-mindedness and a soupon of culinary genius. Whether or not a chef s end product – flavour – is to our liking is between ourselves and our taste buds. TRADITIONAL DINING TABLE DESIGN But we should not dismiss his style on grounds of personal proclivity, for that would be tantamount to declaring that Picasso got it all wrong once he entered his Cubist period because we thought his Blue Period altogether jollier and more lifelike. Thus did my wife and I chew and keep our mouths shut. Exactly what we chewed went something like this: salad of artichokes, seasoned with Chambertin vinegar and olive oil and topped with sauted scallops, followed by Deben duck served with tarragon juice, cal-vados and caramelized apples, on the one Okinawa. This music came from the heart and, like certain poultry, was free-range; a different brand from the battery music some restaurants feed to their diners to take their minds off the (lousy) food.