Top TV chef Antony Worrall Thompson is backing a new food showcase event in Birmingham.
Taste of Birmingham 2006 will be the city's first outdoor gourmet food and drink festival taking place in Cannon Hill Park from July 6 to 9. It will feature signature dishes from some of the finest restaurants in Birmingham.
Mr Worrall Thompson said the event would show the world what Birmingham has to offer.
He said: "I have been coming to Birmingham for 15 years and the improvement has been unbelievable.
"There are plenty of restaurants to be proud of. In the old days it was a bit of a culinary wasteland apart from curries which Birmingham has always done well.
"Having come to the NEC for the Good Food Show so many times, I have seen how important food is to Brummies and I think they will be crushing them in at the Taste of Birmingham 2006 event."
The event was launched at a glittering ceremony at the ITV Central studios in Gas Street, Birmingham last night.
Restaurants participating in the event include Bank, Hotel du Vin, Le Petit Blanc, Malmaison and San Carlo. Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, said: "Foodies will be in for a treat when Taste of Birmingham arrives.
"With a host of restaurants showcasing a variety of cuisine from around the globe, food lovers can really taste the world in one city."
* Tickets costing from £12 are available by calling 0870 121 7893 or on the website at tasteofbirmingham.co.uk