A Barnstaple chef who has travelled extensively, gaining Michelin Star experience, has returned to his home town to open his first restaurant.

One of the dishes on offer at 16 Maiden Street in Barnstaple.One of the dishes on offer at 16 Maiden Street in Barnstaple.

Robert Bryant has just opened 16 Maiden Street at the former Fatbelly Fred's premises and is looking forward to showcasing his food for a local audience.

The 29-year-old has worked in Europe, America and around the UK under some of the best names in the business.

This includes a year and a half at Devon's double Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park when Michael Caines was head chef.

Mr Bryant has worked hard to open his own restaurant and said of 16 Maiden Street: "This is finally my opportunity to cook without boundaries to deliver the best level of food I can.

Robert Bryant in action in the kitchen at 16 Maiden Street.Robert Bryant in action in the kitchen at 16 Maiden Street.

"My motivation comes from wanting to provide fantastic food in a relaxing environment.

"I have a lot of personality in my cooking. It's good food but there's a few little surprises in it and a few quirky things."

Examples of his dishes include crisp confit chicken with soft yolk ravioli, hen of the woods and summer truffle, or you might try Down Farm asparagus with pea soup, parmesan and seared Cornish scallops.

Mr Bryant began his career at age 17 at Thornbury Castle in Gloucestershire, then he returned to North Devon to work under James Duckett at The Old Custom House on the Strand in Barnstaple.

Next he went to The Midsummer House, a two Michelin Star restaurant in Cambridge, followed by two one-star businesses before his stint at Gidleigh Park.

America beckoned and he went to work a stage at a three Michelin Star establishment in Manhattan.

He returned to England to take up his first job as head chef in Kent, but said: "After that I decided I wanted to run my own restaurant, as I did not want to be a head chef and not my own boss."

He moved to Switzerland for a winter season as sous chef at a private members' club and then back to Barnstaple to open his dream restaurant.

He said: "We would love to see people. If you are walking past, just knock on the big red door."

16 Maiden Street is open for evening meals Wednesday to Saturday and will shortly be open for lunch too.