Shell-shocked was the reaction of chef Billy Boyter on hearing on Wednesday that The Cellar restaurant in Anstruther had been awarded a much-coveted Michelin star.
Having left as head chef of a Michelin-starred restaurant in the capital to return to his home town, Billy had the high accolade in sight as a long-term goal but never dreamed it would come in just 18 months.
“To get an award so early is such an honour and totally unexpected,” said Billy (31).
But perhaps it should not be too surprising as the chef and his young team have been winning plaudits and praise since bringing new life to the well-known restaurant, which had closed in 2012.
The award is also a vindication of the faith shown by Billy’s parents, Billy and Fiona, who still live in Anstruther and who backed his move to The Cellar.
It was social media that brought the news to the restaurant - Billy was tagged on a tweet after the results were inadvertently leaked.
“I had to go and check to see if it was true and we still couldn’t believe it,” Billy said.
His mum and dad had to wait a bit longer to hear, however, as they were flying home from holiday when the news broke.
However, a Michelin star can bring added pressure to a restaurant.
“We’re going to feel the pressure because expectations are higher but we are not going to change anything,” Billy said.
“I have been really happy with how things have gone since we opened and we’re going to keep on doing what we’re already doing.”
The Michelin star is Billy’s second reason to celebrate recently, coming as it does just weeks after the birth of his daughter Annie.