A TELEVISION chef has been in York to "beat the drum" for top local food.

Brian Turner, star of Ready Steady Cook and other shows, appeared at Melton's restaurant in his search for England's National Dish.

"This campaign is all about celebrating what we have, using the very best of the food we have, and really enjoying it," said Brian.

"As a Yorkshire man, I am a huge fan of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, I really don't think you can beat it. I want other people to be as proud as I am of our region, and our nation. We have so much to be proud of. I think many chefs these days are starting to show real support for local produce. It is the way forward for all of us."

The visit was sparked by a survey by the English Beef and Lamb Executive which found that almost seven-in-ten people would most like to celebrate England on St George's Day with a family meal of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

Brian said: "I agree with them wholeheartedly. But we do so many great dishes round here. We also make great fish and chips up here, with the amazing produce we have, which they just can't do elsewhere. My last meal would be fish and chips, and then roast beef. You just can't beat it."

Brian also called for more regionalism in the food industry, supporting schemes favoured on the continent which licenses goods to a particular area.

Updated: 10:58 Saturday, May 10, 2003