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TV star Tom cooks up promotion celebrating the best of Yorkshire
Masterchef finalist Tom Rennolds is to use his new-found fame to bang the drum for Yorkshire cooking by becoming a patron of the county’s official tourist organisation and organising a food festival in the district this summer.
Tom, a former plasterer, of Silsden, was pipped to the title in this year's BBC TV cooking contest by Shelina Permalloo, but made the final three and earned the praise of presenters Gregg Wallace and John Torode, as well as plaudits from top chefs including Michel Roux Jr, Tom Kitchin and Jocelyn Herland.
Since the competition ended in March he has been weighing up his options, but despite expectations that he would take up a role in a major London restaurant, he has decided to become an ambassador for his home county.
Tom, 26, has joined forces with Welcome To Yorkshire, becoming a patron for the organisation to promote the county’s restaurants, chefs and food producers.
Anyone whose mouth watered over his dishes in the TV show will be able to sample his cooking for themselves when he runs a “pop-up kitchen” for three nights at the Fleece in Addingham this month.
Tom said: “We have six Michelin-starred restaurants in Yorkshire, which is the most in a single region outside London, and we have fantastic produce.
“I’ve always been a foodie, but since Masterchef I’ve been amazed to learn about all the food producers in this area. I want to help educate everyone about what we have.”
Tom and Welcome to Yorkshire have been in talks with Bradford Council about him running a food festival in the district this summer, possibly in Ilkley.
Tom said: “We get a lot of continental markets in Bradford and Ilkley and I thought why should we be promoting all this food from other places when we have such great food in Yorkshire that doesn’t get the same exposure?”
The festival will feature cooking displays from Tom and other chefs, stalls and demonstrations.
Before that, Tom is taking over the kitchens at the Fleece in Addingham from May 14 to 16, where he will be cooking a special menu including some of his creations for Masterchef.
Craig Minto, at the Fleece, said: “Tom’s a local lad done good and we’re delighted to be able to help him get his name out there even further. This is something different and we’re hoping it will be a great success.”
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “Tom has done an outstanding job in flying the flag for Yorkshire and our fantastic cuisine with his success on the show. We’re delighted to see him continuing this work in promoting the quality and diversity of Yorkshire produce, which we believe is some of the finest in the world.”
For more details, go to fleeceaddingham.co.uk