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New NCDA&CS restaurant contest to highlight best of North Carolina on local menus

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is launching a new contest for restaurants that use locally sourced ingredients on their menus. The “Dig into Local” Best Menu NC contest is part of an expanding array of foodservice programs offered by the department through its Got to Be NC and Savor NC marketing programs.

“This promotion works well with the trends we see in restaurants today,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Locally sourced meats, seafood and produce continue to be the top-ranked trends in today’s ever-changing restaurant scene.”

Menus will be judged on several criteria, including: clearly identifying N.C. agricultural products, farms and manufacturers; highlighting seasonal produce; identifying items with unique regional connections; offering N.C. wine, beer and spirit selections on the menu; including multiple courses featuring N.C. ingredients; and offering a good balance of N.C. products across protein, grain and produce categories.

Restaurants interested in participating should submit applications by May 31. Department staff will visit each restaurant between June and September to evaluate menus. Online menus also will be reviewed during the process. The top 10 menus will be recognized in October, and cash prizes will be awarded to the top five restaurants.

More information and applications are available at www.gottobenc.com/DigIntoLocal.

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