CELEBRITY chef Brian Turner is bringing his expertise to North Yorkshire as the star guest at the region’s fastest-growing culinary event.

The Yorkshire-born award-winner is returning to his northern roots to pass on his skills at this year’s Homegrown Food Festival in Northallerton in the summer.

The television regular will be heading a renowned line-up of chefs at the popular event, which is now in its third year and has grown from humble beginnings in 2012.

Last year it attracted more than 4,000 visitors and 70 stallholders and also won a major award under the national Market Towns Alive initiative - and Mr Turner is a whole-hearted supporter of its aims.

“I can’t wait to be part of the Homegrown Food Festival,” he said.

“This is where the campaign is as good as it gets. Great producers of fab foods. It’s always great to visit God’s own county.”

The festival was originally conceived over a cup of tea in a local cafe and the aim was to create an event that united the community in celebrating – and sampling – the food and drink produced in the local area.

The organisers were a small group of dedicated volunteers who believed the simple idea of showcasing the homegrown could lead to something that would bring the community together and even reach beyond.

Their faith proved well-founded with the Market Towns Alive judges, who enthused over last year’s event - describing it as “inclusive, dynamic, flexible, fun and innovative.”

By keeping the stallholders fees affordable the festival also intends to provide a platform for new food and drink producers to launch their businesses.

Other chefs involved this year include another TV regular, Stephanie Moon of Rudding Park, taking part in a Ready Steady-style cook-off with Paul Jackson of the Hare Inn at Scawton.

And joining Brian Turner in the food theatre will be James Cooper of the Cleveland Tontine, Jason Moore of Provenance Inns and Lisa Bennison of Bettys.

Youngsters will be fully involved in the festival with a “grow zone” and children’s cookery theatre which will include pasta, bread, sausage and cordial workshops.

The free-to-enter festival, which is supported by the Darlington and Stockton Times, will be held on June 29 on the Applegarth in Northallerton.