Bury St Edmunds chef James Carn goes shopping at the town's farmers' market to cook dishes at his news restaurant on Angel Hill.

Enjoying a coffee at his newly opened Lark restaurant, James Carn is feeling positive about life. `Opening my first restaurant in my home town, with my wife and family, has been a really emotional thing to do. The feedback has been great and our guests have been so lovely – over 200 in the first week and every seat booked. We’re now fully booked Friday and Saturdays for the next five weeks. I really didn't expect it - people told us we would be busy but I didn’t believe it.'

So, flushed with early success, James was a natural for our Market Masterclass with Suffolk Market Events. We invited him to browse Bury St Edmunds Farmers' Market, practically on his doorstep, and come up with a couple of special dishes, crafted from local produce from the market which people could try making at home. He enjoyed himself so much that both dishes are now on the menu at Lark on Angel Hill.

`I love this concept and challenge, especially as it's simply the complete ethos of the restaurant – always focusing on seasonal food, as and when it is available. Right now we have plenty of wild garlic so we have that on the menu, but we will only use small quantities and not for too long, so that will all change next week or week after.

Great British Life: James Carn (second right) with the Lark team Photo: Charlotte BondJames Carn (second right) with the Lark team Photo: Charlotte Bond

'I place massive emphasis on local, it's behind everything we do – chocolate, coffee, diary, flour – you can’t buy better locally and the nature of the food and restaurant is that we can adapt to local ingredients when available. For example, Greg Strolenberg (Lavenham Butchers) shot the deer on the menu this week, and from the farmers' market Greg (Sunshine and Green) grew the cauliflower, and Tim (Colletts Farm) reared the pig. So, working with these local food heroes is just a pleasure for me and you learn so much about the products from them.

'You could lose an afternoon talking to Ian (Beehouse Honey) about honey, which provided the borage honey for the cauliflower dish - a gentle, light, sweet honey, unique in colour, pure white when set, a delicate aroma. We love buying produce from partners who have this passion. Tim and Sophie (Colletts Farm) amazed me with the details on their middle white pigs and they did truly taste amazing.'

The food service at Lark has created a wonderfully relaxed and intimate environment and with only 19 covers it has a homely feel. `We serve the food as you would eat it as a family, so for family style service everything comes out when it’s ready for you to share - not fine dining but a selection of delicious plates of food to share for the table. This is the best way to eat with food in the middle and everyone shares – a bit like a takeaway!

Great British Life: Sourcing produce from the local market Photo: Alex PaulSourcing produce from the local market Photo: Alex Paul

'We have to maintain high standards, especially when working with such delicious locally produced food so we keep things simple, no fuss - so no micro herbs or camouflage, and nothing unnecessary. Just good produce served simply with skill.'

Working in partnership with Bury Farmers' Market is a perfect fit for Lark, especially with James' emphasis on small plates and an ever changing menu. Middle White pork belly from Colletts, with its rich marbling and fat content, created wonderful crackling. Collett feed their sheep with their own skimmed milk. But James then moves on to other cuts - shoulder, or leg - creating new dishes from whatever is available from small producers like Colletts Farm.

There is no lack of classic technique and the kitchen’s traditional skills are on show with favourite dishes such as tarte tartin and homemade breads. However, there's no room for gismos or gadgets in the kitchen. Everything is cooked in an oven or pan so there’s no use of sous vide or fancy foams. Every day James and his small team review their menu and ask themselves a simple but very important question - is this delicious?’ If the answer is not a definitive yes, it comes off the menu.

Great British Life: Food at The Lark restaurant. Photo: Charlotte BondFood at The Lark restaurant. Photo: Charlotte Bond

Great things beckon for this hometown boy. It's very much a family affair with James' wife Sophia front of house with Yann Aubourg, who has worked with James ever since arriving from France many years ago, plus support from their four children, including Oscar who at 14 is the happiest pot washer in Suffolk.

So what else can we expect from James and Lark? He loves working with fish (look out for his fish fitters on a Friday) and he is keen to show vegetables the same respect as meat. They always bake their cauliflower whole, like a joint of beef, then carve it off which gives it a much better flavour. It's all about creating consistent delicious food that people `really fancy coming to’, whether it's a celebration or a date night, or just a simple lunch. `I don’t want to be a one and done venue – I want people to say I want to come back,’ says James.

That's certainly something that Bury Farmers Market has achieved since it was established by Suffolk Market Events in 2015. A busy bustling market with up to 40 local producers that come monthly on the second Sunday, it's established a fine reputation, pulling in visitors from throughout the region and creating a wonderful atmosphere in the middle of the town every month. Founder Justine Paul says: `We've worked hard to create a wonderful shopping experience for visitors to the market with an excellent selection of high quality and local produce as well as a range of street food and some crafts. We’re so pleased the farmers market has been a real success with residents of Bury, plus we're regularly getting visitors from the whole region and we've received accolades from national food critics, including being named one of the best farmers' markets in the UK by a national newspaper.’

Great British Life: James Carn at The Lark restaurant. Photo: Charlotte BondJames Carn at The Lark restaurant. Photo: Charlotte Bond

Creating a long term partnership between local producers and chefs like James Carn is a natural and seamless progression. It should make everyone involved proud that we produce such great local food and chefs that are passionate about turning wonderful produce into delicious dishes. And it's all on our doorstep – literally in James’ case.

Bury St Edmunds Farmers Market: Every 2nd Sunday of the month on The Traverse in the heart of Bury. For more details www.suffolkmarketevents.co.uk

Lark Restaurant, 6A Angel Hill www.larkrestaurant.co.uk