Top chefs wanted for 2011 Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb

Top chefs are being urged to take to the stage when one of the country's most prestigious events for foodies gets underway in Wakefield next month.

Organisers of this year's Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb want the region's best chefs to step forward and demonstrate their cooking skills with local produce at the event, which attracts visitors from across the globe.

The two-day festival – on Friday February 25 and Saturday 26 – is one of the first big events in the UK's foodie calendar and celebrates Yorkshire forced rhubarb which has joined the prestigious ranks of Champagne, Roquefort Cheese and Parma Ham on the EU's list of protected foods.

This year's festival – organised by Wakeield Council and sponsored by Welcome to Yorkshire – will allow chefs to show off their signature dishes in a new stage kitchen sponsored by AGA Rangemaster.

Visitors can watch all the appetising action on big screens and the festival compere will be on hand to answer questions. Previous demonstrations have included everything from three-course meals to wine producing and cheese making.

Coun David Dagger, Wakefield Council's cabinet member for culture, said: "We are looking for the next stars of the festival and would love to hear from restaurants, hotels and food producers who want to showcase their cooking or products during the festival."

Chefs and food producers interested in taking part in a cookery demonstration can contact Wakefield Council on 01924 305026 or email: destinationteam@wakefield.gov.uk