THE search is on for a Cheshire food lover to become an expert for a day.

You could join a panel of food specialists to help judge the Fine Food Northwest Awards and taste nearly 500 of the finest foods the region has to offer.

The Fine Food Northwest Awards 2009, run by Food Northwest, the organisation set up by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) to lead the food and drink industry, recognise the best fine foods produced across the Northwest, from chutneys and preserves to cakes and confectionery.

This year, Food Northwest is recruiting a Cheshire foodie to join four other food enthusiasts from Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside, at a judging event at Ewood Park, Blackburn, on June 3. They will enjoy a day of tasting as part of a team of judges, including top Cheshire chefs Leigh Myers of the Chester Grosvenor-Pulford and Mark Bennett of Oddfellows in Chester as well as speciality food retailers, food journalists and supermarket buyers.

The chosen five will also be invited to an event at the Manchester Hilton Hotel on June 25, to see the 10 winners receive their awards.

To enter or apply to become a judge, visit Deadline is May 15.