Delia Smith, Antonio Carluccio and Galton Blackiston back 2011 Norfolk Food Festival

Three top chefs with a love of Norfolk have pledge their support to the county's month-long food festival by agreeing to become the event's patrons.

Queen of the cookbook Delia Smith and Michelin-starred chef Galton Blackiston have renewed their commitment having also been involved in previous years.

They will be joined by Italian restaurateur Antonio Carluccio, whose decision to associate himself with the event is another indication of the soft spot he has for Norfolk.

The chef and cookery writer said: 'I'm pleased to pledge my support to the EDP Bidwells Norfolk Food Festival. It was a huge success last year and I'm sure 2011 will be even better.

'Norfolk has a fantastic array of local food and drink and it's great to have an event that celebrates this. In addition, we have just opened our first Norfolk Carluccio's in Chapelfield, Norwich, so we're very excited to be a new addition to the county's dining scene.'

Last year was the first time Delia gave the food festival her backing but the popular television cook has long been championing Norfolk food and drink. She hopes this will be the year when the county's produce will get the recognition it deserves.

She said: 'Norwich City are back in the Premier League and that's where Norfolk food belongs too.

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'We've got the best offering of local food and drink in the country and we want as many people to come to Norfolk and try it for themselves – particularly if it's a match day at Carrow Road.'

Galton, who runs Morston Hall hotel and restaurant on the north Norfolk coast, said it was an 'enormous pleasure' to live and work in this county. He said: 'Norfolk is blessed with great farming land and exceptional wet fish with its miles and miles of fabulous coastline.

'When you know that the produce you can source is of the best quality, it makes sense to use what's in your own back yard.'

This year's Norfolk Food Festival runs from Saturday September 3 to Sunday October 2 and aims to attract food lovers from across the country to five key weekends of events.

From the North Norfolk Food Festival to a Produced in Norfolk weekend, where visitors will be encouraged to get out and about discovering the wealth of farm shops and farmers' markets found in every corner of the county, there will be something for everyone.

Festival chairman Richard Wooliams said the newly-confirmed patrons were the perfect ambassadors to promote a month of exciting events.

He said: 'We're thrilled that Delia and Galton have renewed their commitment to the festival and been joined by Antonio Carluccio, the Godfather of Italian gastronomy. He has spent more than 50 years championing, cooking and eating genuine, regional food and wine from his home country and this chimes brilliantly with what the festival is all about – local, seasonal produce is king wherever you're from.'

In 2010 the festival featured more than 1,000 events, promotions and offers. Those already confirmed for this September include the popular Moveable Feast, in aid of Parkinson's UK, and the Battle of the Bangers.

For more information about the festival visit www.norfolkfoodfestival.co.uk or to find out about hosting an event contact Lexia Media by emailing deborah@lexiamedia.co.uk.

victoria.leggett@archant.co.uk

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