A TOP chef who has worked in Gordon Ramsay and Raymond Blanc restaurants is in the driving seat of a new car-themed restaurant near York that gets off the starting grid today (Thursday).

Ian Matfin is the head chef at The Arnage, a smart new eaterie at The Motorist, the popular garage and events space in Sherburn in Elmet, about a half-hour's drive from York.

The new motor-themed restaurant will feature stitched leather seats and a carpet resembling tyre tracks as well as car memorabilia and art work.

But the place will be as much for food lovers as car afficionados, with expert chef Ian taking pole position in menu creation.

York Press: Great Yorkshire food on the menu at The ArnageGreat Yorkshire food on the menu at The Arnage

Having worked in numerous high-profile establishments including Claridge’s, Gordon Ramsay restaurants, Abode in Manchester and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Ian has created a menu with the aim of serving contemporary British food and drinks that appeal to all, with a nod to the racing world.

The menu includes a selection of dishes on the ‘Starting Grid’, such as sea salt and rosemary focaccia and honey glazed pork chipolatas, with the ‘Formation Lap’ offering the likes of crispy ham hock fritter and whipped chicken liver parfait.

For the ‘Main Event’, The Arnage menu features British classics such as steak and ale pie, battered fresh east coast haddock and moules frites, which can be served alongside ‘Co Driver’ sides such as skin on fries and truffle baked mash.

York Press: Car-themed interior at The ArnageCar-themed interior at The Arnage

The Motorist is already home to a themed café, garage and showroom and regularly hosts events for up to 900. It was founded by local entrepreneur Simon Spinks, of Harrison Spinks mattresses.

The venue has been designed by his son Daniel and Hayley Melling. The Arnage will include 78 covers in the downstairs restaurant, 100 covers in its corporate upstairs lounge, Club Le Mans, as well as an additional 24 covers split across three different private dining rooms.

Simon Spinks said: “We are so proud to finally announce the launch of our latest project at The Motorist, The Arnage. The menu we’ve created is something really special, that is not only a nod to the motoring world but showcases our proud roots in North Yorkshire with some fantastic, quality, local produce. We now just can’t wait to welcome everyone through the doors."

To find out more, visit: www.themotorist.com