TEESSIDE'S national dish will come under the spotlight as a World Parmo Championship competition is launched.

The Middlesbrough delicacy is being celebrated through a new challenge competition launched by Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston.

The parmo is now on offer around the world, as far away as Australia, and chefs from all over the globe are being invited to compete in the event, which will be held at Middlesbrough Town Hall on Monday, October 28.

Their parmos can be the traditional dish of breadcrumbed chicken or pork topped with béchamel sauce and cheddar cheese or a more creative take.

Additionally vegan and vegetarian versions of the parmo can be entered into the competition.

Mayor Preston said: "Middlesbrough people are rightly proud of the parmo and it should be seized as a local cultural asset in the way the Bakewell Tart or the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie have.

"The parmo is a phenomenon. Our World Parmo Championship will be a fun way of celebrating the dish and hopefully after we've picked a winner for the best parmo in 2019, restaurateurs across Teesside will keep pushing to make their parmo the best around."

Middlesbrough Council is hosting the event at the Town Hall and local restaurants have been written to inviting them to take part.

• For more information on taking part or to vote for your favourite restaurant visit www.lovemiddlesbrough.com/parmo