LUNESDALE head chef Oli Martin is helping to promote the cuisine of his home county at a major event in Cannes next month.

The 2018 BBC Masterchef The Professionals finalist will join a Lancashire delegation heading to the world’s leading property show on France’s Cote D’Azur, an event known as MIPIM.

Lancashire Enterprise Partnership confirmed that Oli, who is head chef at Hipping Hall near Kirkby Lonsdale, will create Lancashire-inspired dishes during a number of exclusive dining events for investors, developers and VIP guests at the Riviera exposition.

Rachel McQueen, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said “This will be the third year that Marketing Lancashire has organised a Lancashire presence at MIPIM Cannes and hosted a dinner for VIP guests and investors. It will, however, be the first year that we have been in a position to provide genuine Taste Lancashire dining experiences in one of France’s most celebrated culinary destinations.

“We’re very proud to have someone with Oli’s provenance and brilliant imagination developing a menu that will showcase some of Lancashire’s finest local producers.

“With his help we can demonstrate the superb quality of life that is such an important aspect of attracting new investments into the county.

“Oli’s talent for foraging and creating fantastic plates of food took him to the finals of this year’s BBC Masterchef the Professionals and now, we’re delighted to be taking him to Cannes and the world’s leading property market.”

This year is the 30th anniversary of MIPIM, which sees the most influential players from all sectors of the international property industry descend on the Palais des Festivals, Cannes, for a year’s worth of deal-making, networking and profile-raising in four intensive days. With over 3,000 exhibiting companies, over 300 keynotes and speakers, as well as 100 conference sessions; MIPIM welcomes 26,000 participants and offers access to the greatest number of development projects and sources of capital worldwide. David Taylor, Chair of the LEP, commented: “This year looks set to be one of the busiest MIPIMs ever, and so I believe it is very timely that we are raising our profile and seeking to highlight the current investment, development and business opportunities in Lancashire. It is also critical that we do this in partnership, and we are liaising with both the public and private sector to ensure that we maximise our impact at the event.”Oli said: “It will be an honour to represent Lancashire at MIPIM.

“I was born here, work here and my family is firmly-rooted in Lancashire. I don’t think there’s a better place for a chef, as we have such incredible produce and producers.”

Hipping Hall owner Andrew Wildsmith said: “If working together we can attract more people to live and work here, we are going some way to helping sustain a whole host of jobs and colleagues in Lancashire’s hospitality industry.

“Investment into the county will bring more visitors as well as new business partnerships and at Wildsmith Hotelswe are only too happy to support this LEP initiative.”

MIPIM takes place at Cannes from March 12-15.