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Yes to local produce.....unless it's from Kent

Gary Rhodes
Gary Rhodes

Superstar chef Gary Rhodes has defended his programme to find the best in local food - despite no finalists coming from his home county!

The TV cook spoke exclusively to reporter Keyan Milanian about his love for the county - and its produce.

Speaking from his restaurant in Dorset, Gary said an entrant in the first series of Gary Rhodes' Local Food Heroes on UKTVFood was from Kent.

But in this series the South East regional finalists are from East Sussex and Buckinghamshire.

Gary said he was very proud of Kent.

He said: "I love Kent, I’ve been living there. I was born in Dulwich in South East London and lived in Kent. My parents still live in the Medway towns, that’s where I grew up, I did my catering college in the mid-seventies, in Broadstairs.

I absolutely love the place, I’m living in Kent now, absolutely love it."

But he said the lack of shortlisting for Kent entries was no indicator of a lack of quality from the county.

He added: "It’s a great place: Kent, I think, has so much to offer.

"You know, when you look at the Kentish apple and all those sort of things and some of the local farms that we have.

"I always find around the Sittingbourne area some of the most sensational farm shops you can imagine - going down towards Faversham, some amazing produce."

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