A POPULAR food challenge highlighting all that is good about eating in the region has returned.

The North East Wales Tourism and Marketing Team have laid down a challenge to local eateries as part of the 2019 Year of Discovery, to devise a dish that would celebrate the best local produce in the area, along with giving visitors the chance to try something a little different.

For restaurants, the challenge will be to develop at least three tapas dishes or small plates using local North East Wales producers that will each play on the senses and help diners learn more about the 2019 Year of Discovery in Wales.

For cafes / tearooms, the challenge is slightly different and encourages the design of a dessert which again uses as much local North East Wales produce as possible, plays on the senses of those who buy it and incorporates a possible reason to discover our region.

Taking place between January 19 to February 13, eateries across the region will have their entry available each day whilst they also will receive two mystery dining visits that will score their entry, how it is promoted and how it matches the entry criteria.

The two highest scoring dishes from each category will then be invited to a cook-off at the end of February with prizes including the associated publicity, a stand at the Wrexham Food & Drink Festival and other commercial event opportunities throughout the year.

Destination Manager at Wrexham Council Joe Bickerton, part of the NE Wales Marketing team said: “It’s fantastic to see more entries again this year – and further highlights the superb level of creativity of our chefs in North East Wales along with the availability of great local produce!

"We really hope that over the next month, diners across the region and those visiting the area enjoy trying new places and give the Year of the Discovery dishes a try in each venue.”

Venues taking part in this years challenge, include Wrexham based The Fat Boar, Plat Bach, Levant, Lot 11, Emz Cakes and Courtyard Cafe. For a full list of the dishes included www.northeastwales.wales/tour-food-challenge