THREE food outlets in Cambridgeshire have been selected as contenders in a nationwide competition designed to find Britain s unsung food hero. Led by top chef Gary Rhodes, the Local Food Hero 2006 awards are a tribute to everyone who tirelessly puts Briti

Helen and Keith Burgess

THREE food outlets in Cambridgeshire have been selected as contenders in a nationwide competition designed to find Britain's unsung food hero.

Led by top chef Gary Rhodes, the Local Food Hero 2006 awards are a tribute to everyone who tirelessly puts British produce onto plates, into shops and markets and on pub and restaurant tables.

The competition will be judged by celebrity chefs and regional food scouts. Chef Danny Boome has kicked started the competition by nominating three for East Anglia.

The nominations so far for Cambridgeshire include Better Beef, located at Fenton House in Conington, near Fenstanton. It is run by Keith and Helen Burgess and uses a Gloucester breed of cattle renowned for its succulent tender beef, which is hung for four weeks.

Ben Renshaw chef and Simon Brown manager of The Cock. Pictures: HELEN DRAKE

Helen told The Hunts Post: "I didn't even know I was nominated for the competition but it is a lovely surprise. Our cattle are a very rare and ancient breed and it is nice that our fine tasting beef is being acknowledged."

Another contender is Glebe Farm Organic Flour located in School Lane in Kings Ripton. It is run by Rebecca Rayner who grows her own organic grain to grind into flour. As well as organic flours milled to order, the farm also sells wheat-free and gluten-free bread mixes.

The Cock in Hemingford Grey High Street has also been nominated for its fish dishes, home-made sausages and daily specials including mutton with almond and apricot, pork with sultanas and brandy or pork with peppercorns and Stilton.

Members of the public are being asked to either vote for one of the three above or nominate an establishment or a person they feel produces good quality home-grown produce. It could be your local butcher, farmer, restaurant owner or school dinner lady.

Once all votes are in, the short-listed candidates will battle it out in an 11-part TV series hosted by Gary Rhodes beginning on the UKTV Food channel in November.

As well as winning the title of Local Food Hero 2006, the winner will also be able to choose one thing that will benefit their community, such as a farm shop refurbishment or extra parking facilities, and their wish will be granted.

Voting closes on August 21.

INFORMATION: To nominate your local food hero visit www.uktvfood.co.uk