- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Restaurants that use locally sourced ingredients on their menus can earn special recognition - and some cash - from the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The department is launching the “Dig into Local” Best Menu NC contest as part of an expanding array of programs offered by the department through its Got to Be NC and Savor NC marketing programs.

Menus will be judged on several criteria, including clearly identifying N.C. agricultural products, farms and manufacturers, and offering wine, beer and spirit selections on the menu.

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

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