(L - R): Robinsons' Bex Toppin and Will Pearce.
Matthew Neville

York Minster restaurant to open later this year with locally sourced, seasonal menu

Locally sourced, seasonal food ingredients with a “worldly flavour” will be at the heart of the menus at York Minster’s new Refectory Restaurant which opens later this year under the direction of chef Bex Toppin.

Bex and partner Will Pearce have made a name for themselves since they opened their Bishopthorpe Road, Robinsons Cafe, bringing affordable dining to York. This characteristic will also be apparent in the Minster’s new accessible-to-all refectory-style restaurant cafe when it opens later this year.

Bex explained: “Like we have at Robinsons, the food at the Minster Refectory Restaurant will be sourced locally as much as we can. The idea is a simple one - to let all the high quality ingredients shine through, without any fuss. If the ingredients are good you don’t need to do that much with the food.”

At Robinsons the menu is very much what Bex and Will like to prepare and eat themselves, supported by seasonal and local produce from the independent shops, butchers, and grocers of York’s ‘Bishy Road’.

“We really want to carry on that focus of local, good quality, seasonal, dishes at the Refectory Restaurant,” she added.

One challenge they will face at the new restaurant is setting full multi-course menus and preparing food for a new large restaurant.

Bex concluded: “It’s a challenge, for sure, but I’m really excited about that opportunity, of being able to prepare special and seasonal dishes, but in the much larger dining environment we will have at the Refectory Restaurant.”

Breakfast and brunch options will range from traditional bacon sandwiches on locally sourced bread to kedgeree using locally smoked haddock. Lunch and dinner will include a selection of small plates and seasonal brasserie-style dishes.

The main ground floor hall restaurant is likely to have capacity for 60-plus covers with breakfast and lunch options and evening menus; and smaller function and private dining rooms upstairs.

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