Richard Branson`s personal chef reveals vision for his amazing new Devon restaurant



A Devon-born chef who has travelled the world cooking at some of the planet's finest restaurants has revealed his vision for his new restaurant, which is set to open later this year.

Graham Brundle, 47, has been chef to Richard Branson on his exclusive Necker Island resort, head chef to the King of Jordan and has cooked for celebrities including Bill Gates and the Royal family.

But now Graham, who grew up in Ilfracombe and Woolacombe, is set to open his very own restaurant - Brundles - as part of the new Byron development in Woolacombe. And as you can see from the fly-through tour video above, it looks like it's going to be pretty special!

Graham, who was trained at the famous Ritz Hotel in London and has worked at numerous Michelin star restaurants around the globe, said he has been waiting his whole life for the right opportunity to launch his own business in North Devon.

He said: "I remember the old Narracott Hotel and Long Bar from my youth in the 1980s in Woolacombe, so I have fond memories of this location.

"Sadly the building went down hill over the years and degraded badly - a lot of people in the village were disgruntled about that.

"It is in a prime position and it's hard to believe it was allowed to get into that state, but it all happened at a time when European holidays were booming and British tourism missed out as a result."

Graham, who helped open Damien Hirst's 11 The Quay in Ilfracombe back in 2003, said he was visiting his mother in Woolacombe in 2014 when he noticed new hording boards had been erected around the derelict remains of the former Narracott Hotel.

He said: "I called the people behind the plans and said I would be really keen to lease part of the building for a restaurant.

"Two weeks later they called me and said they were really interested."

As well as Brundle's restaurant on the sea-facing ground floor, the Byron development also includes 55 high-end apartments and a private pool, gym and sauna.

A three-bedroom apartment in the exclusive development can cost up to £845,000, and Graham believes this will open up a huge market.

He said: "There will be a very affluent clientele here - you only have to look at properties in the area to see that.

"Floods of people already come here but there are just not enough resources for them.

"Byron is in a great location and will offer something really new."

Graham says the restaurant will be open all year round and the menu will change daily.

He said: "I want to drive as much local produce as possible, but at the same time the menu will reflect an international feel.

"The bar menus will be written daily to encourage creativity, seasonality and different flavours of the world.

"I want to keep it interesting and diversity will keep my team of chefs interested.

"It will also be a family restaurant with an informal feel - after all we are right next to the beach - but with an added wow-factor."

Despite another Woolacombe chef - Thomas Carr - becoming the first in the area to gain a Michelin star, Graham says he has no such aspirations for Brundle's.

He said: "I've spent the past 20 years striving for those accolades, I've done that.

"For me this is a very personal project and I really want it to give me a nice lifestyle.

"I will never give a bad plate of food to anyone, but with this venture I want to have some fun too."

Brundle's Bar and Restaurant is due to open later this year, though no date has yet been announced.

Original article published on Devon Live and can be viewed here

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