Middlesbrough's newest restaurant the Fork in the Road enjoyed a double celebration this week – a glittering official launch and membership of the Growing Middlesbrough Local Food Network.
Growing Middlesbrough is a campaign to improve access to food and drink that’s been grown and produced within 50 miles of the town.
It features a series of Local Food Weekends – the next takes place from Friday, March 3 to Sunday, March 5.
The Fork in the Road pledged its support for Growing Middlesbrough at the restaurant’s official launch on Monday (Feb 6) where guests sampled a range of dishes created by head chef Louie Miller.
Businessman and charity leader Andy Preston, who chairs the charity behind the not-for-profit social enterprise, said: “The Fork in the Road is changing lives by creating volunteering, training and employment opportunities for some of the most vulnerable in our society including ex-offenders, those in recovery from addiction and the long-term unemployed.
“As a community-focused enterprise and high quality restaurant we buy the freshest food available from local producers, who demonstrate high welfare standards and who employ local people.
“That’s why it makes perfect sense for us to be involved in Growing Middlesbrough – it’s a campaign which can help grow the local economy and change even more lives.”
Joe Dunne, from Middlesbrough Environment City, is one of those at the forefront of the Growing Middlesbrough Local Food Network.
He said: “More and more diners want locally-produced food and the Middlesbrough venues that are offering it are already seeing the benefit, which is fantastic for everyone involved.
“We are working with a growing number of producers, restaurateurs and retailers to create a vibrant local food scene and diners can support that by eating at one of the participating venues during one of our Local Food Weekends or where ever they see the Growing Middlesbrough window sticker.”
To get involved in Local Food Weekend food outlets must offer at least one dish on their menu that uses a minimum of two locally produced ingredients.
To find participating food outlets and for further information about Growing Middlesbrough visit www.growingmiddlesbrough.org.uk.