AFTER many long years of waiting Merseyside has finally been put on the international culinary map with the region?s first Michelin Star.

An intimate, sophisticated restaurant in Oxton, Wirral, has been given the coveted award after it was hotly tipped to gain the star two years ago.

Fraiche, owned and run by Huyton-born Marc Wilkinson, is the only new Michelin star to be awarded in the whole of the North West.

Marc?s deconstruction of food and experimental creations won over the highly illusive and anonymous judges making this achievement the pinnacle of a 20-year career.

Marc, who creates light, contemporary French cuisine aims to take diners on thrilling adventures in taste, texture and temperature.

His kitchen, aside from the usual pots and pans has impressive pieces of equipment putting him at the forefront of food exploration.

He said: ?I?m ecstatic, it?s been a hard slog but it?s nice to have recognition when you?ve worked so hard and a Michelin Star is always at the back of a chef?s mind.?

After starting work at the age of 15 in a restaurant in Anglesey and cooking Scampi and fillet steak, he worked his way up through Michelin-starred restaurants before what he calls as ?an experience which blew him away?.

While head chef at the Mirabelle, in Eastbourne?s Grand Hotel, he took a trip to Paris to eat at Pierre Gagnaire.

He had a sole dish that left flavour memories in his head and he decided to begin a huge change in his life and evolve into modern cuisine.

Marc said: ?It?s nice to be different, it?s boring to go out and eat the same old dishes.

?I like to experiment and I have lots of cool toys in the kitchen such as the anti-griddle, which can freeze cook at -35 degrees. more