YORKSHIRE'S Food Capital is a tag many of our regional cities would love to claim.

But the grand title belongs to North Yorkshire's Malton - and after a day spent on its monthly food tour, it is easy to see why.

It was the late, great, Italian chef Antonio Carluccio who first gave the town the label in 2011 - but rather than rest on its laurels, Malton has only ripened its reputation as a foodie destination with the addition of more cafes, restaurants, producers and makers in recent years.

You only have to sit down to lunch at The Cook's Place cookery school just off Market Street to realise just how much delicious produce is coming out of this market town.

Cookery school chef and owner Gilly Robinson has rustled up a tasty two-course menu featuring ingredients and products from the local area for everyone on today's tour. Even our drink is local and hails from the Yorkshire Wolds Apple Juice Company, based in the Wolds just a short hop away.

It may surprise you that our main course is pasta with feta cheese, staples of Italy and Greece. In fact, the pasta is made by Malton's very own Yorkshire Pasta Company while the cheese is Fine Fettle Yorkshire (formerly Yorkshire Feta) straight from the creamery of Shepherds Purse Cheeses at Thirsk.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Yorkshire pasta and 'feta' cheese on the menu for lunchYorkshire pasta and 'feta' cheese on the menu for lunch

To follow, we have a trio of desserts: a macaron from award winning pastry chef Florian Poirot, toffee apple ice-cream from Groovy Moo - both found in the foodie enclave of Malton's Talbot Yard opposite the Talbot Hotel - with a vegan brownie from Purple Carrot just across the road on Market Street.

The food tours, which run every second Saturday in the month to coincide with Malton's monthly market, are organised by Visit Malton, priced at £50 per person.

I was invited to join a group of journalists and bloggers on one last week.

It was my second such tour - the first taking place many moons ago and hosted by Mr Malton himself, Tom Naylor-Leyland.

What struck me as we dotted about the town last week, popping in to see a wide range of local food heroes, was how many new faces were in town.

Leading the way, and waving a big flag for local, independent foodie businesses, is chef Oliver Farrar who has opened his restaurant, Forty Six, this year, alongside his partner Gemma Buckett, and is already going great guns.

Signature dish, his sticky chicken, is a crowd puller. "We sold 140 kilos of it at the last food festival," he tells us, a grin of incredulity breaking across his face.

The site - in Market Place - offers all things to all people: brunch during the day and a small plates menu from Thursday to Saturday evenings. Sunday lunch is a bit different, large platters featuring the likes of lamb Wellington, perfect for all the family to share. Upstairs there is a private dining room and cocktail lounge, big enough to fit 22 diners.

If that isn't enough to tempt you, then Oliver's CV might. Not only did he work at Claridge's for four years, he was Gordon Ramsay's senior sous chef and a head chef for Tom Aitkens.

A familiar face from the previous tour is Jim McMillan, owner of McMillans at 16 Market Street (a relocation from just across the street). He specialises in whisky, wine and gin and describes his place as "a sweet shop for adults". He's not wrong - the wooden shelves are laden with tempting bottles of spirits in all colours and labels instead of jars of bonbons and boiled sweeties.

Upstairs is a "secret bar" accessed through a hidden door - regulars can even have their own bottles of booze stored under lock and key for them to drink on their next visit.

After sampling a wee dram of the Spirit of Yorkshire Distiller's Cream Liqueur, described to us as "Bailey's on steroids!" it was a short stroll back to Talbot Yard to meet Matt Stewart who gave up being a fireman in York to launch his artisan gin company, Rare Bird Distillery. We tried teeny samples of three of his creations, the citrus-y London Dry original, an earthy rhubarb and ginger gin, and a vanilla spiced variety. I loved them all and would recommend all three.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jim McMillan hands out drams on our visit during the Malton Food TourJim McMillan hands out drams on our visit during the Malton Food Tour

Brewer Howard Kinder heads up the Yorkshire Pudding Brewery, formerly the Malton Brewery, overlooking the River Derwent at Navigation Wharf. The rebrand reflects the success of its most famous brew, flavoured with Yorkshire puddings. The creation won Channel 4’s Aldi’s Next Big Thing last year and is now stocked in the supermarket across the UK.

As we sampled the award-winning drink, Howard told us how he set up the business with his son, Harry, a former jockey, following a long career as a senior manager at Tesco.

A final call before lunch took us to meet butcher Paul Potts of Food 2 Remember in Talbot Yard whose home-made sausages feature 90+ per cent meat and are the size of a baby's arm! Besides a wide range of meats, he also sells a selection of home-made pies, many filled with fish as well as meat, with vegan and veggie options too. His pastry filled with squash was a thing of delight and worked as an ideal starter before we headed back to The Cook's Place for Gilly's mini Malton feast.

To find out more about the next Malton Food Tour or to book a place visit: www.visitmalton.com/malton-food-tour