Michelin-starred chef Tommy Banks has vowed to help grow a popular North Yorkshire food festival after becoming its first ever official patron.
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Mr Banks, who is head chef and owner of Roots in York and The Black Swan at Oldstead, appeared at Malton Food Lovers Festival over the weekend as part of a high-profile line-up for its 11th year.
Making his second successive festival appearance, he joined fellow Michelin-starred Yorkshire chef James Mackenzie, Stephen Smith from The Star Inn at Harome and food writer Sabrina Ghayour in giving talks and demonstrations as thousands of people attended the festival.
His appointment as patron means he will help develop the festival further as organisers look to capitalise on their support from Yorkshire-based food producers, with this year’s event having featured more than 150 stalls.
Mr Banks said: “Yorkshire’s Food Capital sets a benchmark for food events and I’m thrilled to be working with the team to continue and grow its success.
“The festival truly showcases everything that is so special about Yorkshire’s food and drink, from growers and farmers to bakers and distillers.”
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Festival organiser Tom Naylor-Leyland said he was “incredibly honoured” to have the chef’s official backing, saying: “We are thrilled to have Tommy’s experience and inspiration on board as a patron and ambassador for our flagship event.
“This news is the icing on the cake following yet another successful event, welcoming thousands of fantastic producers and visitors who brought hungry bellies and a jolly atmosphere to our charming market town.”
Mr Banks will work with the festival team to attract more locally sourced produce and talent, drive food projects and initiatives, and inspire future events.