The former two-Michelin-starred chef had been looking for a suitable site to re-establish his restaurant career since he returned from France last autumn, where he and his family had been filming the TV series French Leave.
It is believed solicitors for Burton-Race, who was unavailable for comment, are close to signing a deal. The restaurant is expected to open for trading after refurbishment in mid-May. Burton-Race will be only the third owner since Joyce Molyneux opened the restaurant in 1974. Departing owner Peter Gorton plans to expand his other Devon restaurant, the Horn of Plenty in Gulworthy, adding a cookery school and establishing an outside catering business.
Burton Race's purchase of the Carved Angel represents his first restaurant venture since he closed the two-star John Burton Race at the Landmark in December 2002. He has also been making a new television series in the West Country based on the region's produce.