PAUL Heathcote has been named a taste ambassador for the red rose county.

And the Bolton-born culinary king has joined colleague Nigel Haworth in penning the introduction of a new Lancashire cook book.

His contribution to Second Helpings, from Meze Publishing, comes as he makes preparations to open The Northern, at the town’s Albert Halls.

The former owner of the Longridge Restaurant, where he received his Michelin star, is seen as the ideal icon to champion Lancashire’s reputation among foodies.

Rachel McQueen, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “Paul and Nigel have inspired many young Lancastrians into the kitchen and today these chefs are also making their mark at the highest level.

“We’re very proud to be working with all our Taste Lancashire Ambassadors, partners and producers who together, are more determined than ever to bring the county’s unrivalled food and drink offer to national and international attention.”

Some of the other chefs already appointed to the ambassadorial posts include Mark Birchall, who runs Moor Hall, near Ormskirk, Chris Bury, of the Cartford Inn at Little Eccleston and Oli Martin, whose creations adorn the menu at Hipping Hall in Cowan Bridge, south of Kirby Lonsdale.

Heathcote's Albert Halls venture could soon become another must-visit venue on the same kind of level.

Old Lancashire favourites like bread and butter pudding, fish pie, steak pie and triple cooked chips have been pencilled in for the menu.

The 100-plus covers development, fitted out with antique furniture and leather-bound fittings in racing green and deep reds, is seen as the final piece of the puzzle in the multi-million pound renovation of the Bolton landmark

Meanwhile the cook book, now on sale, also features northern recipes championed by a variety of food heroes, as well as showcasing the ware of a number of producers from the area traditionally known as Lancashire.