FARMERS' market favourites are to feature at a banquet being held in York to celebrate fresh local produce.

Andrew Stewart, of Yoadwath Mill Trout Farm, Kirkbymoorside, is going to provide a tasty dish of fresh trout mousse with horse radish cream for the Evening Press-Dean Court Hotel Eat Local Banquet on May 15.

The Eat Local theme is something particularly important to Andrew.

"Much of my business now is done at farmers' markets around the county," he said.

"This is hugely important to me. I work hard to keep 'food miles' down and support local initiatives. For example, I am a member of Yorkshire Pantry.

"I love the area, I live here because I love it, and want to do my best for it."

But, despite his passion, it has been far from plain sailing for the Kenya-born trout farmer.

He has been at the trout farm in Kirkbymoorside since 1989, but after spending his entire working life with fish since completing a marine ecology degree in his youth, the hardest times have come in the past couple of years. "I was very badly hit by the floods a couple of years ago. They hit the business hard and since then I have diversified. I now do a lot of food preparation, such as smoking, to keep things going."

But with stalls at farmers markets in Easingwold, York, Malton, Wetherby and more, it is the top-class produce which keeps customers coming back.

"I love spending my time at the farmers' markets.

"The best thing is when you get customers who keep coming back to you because they so enjoyed the food. That is a real compliment."

Now is the chance for Evening Press readers to see just what keeps these customers coming back.

A limited number of tickets are available for the exclusive event. So book now for your tickets at £35 per guest.

Seats can be reserved by phoning the Dean Court Hotel on 01904 625082, faxing on 01904 620305 or emailing Keep your nominations coming in for the Eat Local competition to showcase the very best the region has to offer.

Updated: 09:27 Thursday, May 01, 2003