Celebrity chef Andre Chiang (江振誠) said he will close Restaurant Andre in Singapore, which received two Michelin stars, to focus on Raw, his restaurant in Taipei.
Chiang — Taiwan’s first Michelin-starred chef — on Tuesday said that he requested Michelin Guide Singapore not to review Restaurant Andre for next year, as he would close it on Feb. 14 next year.
“I’m a perfectionist and for the past 30 years of my career, I’ve been looking for that unrealistic ‘moment of perfection’: three Michelin stars, world’s top 50 restaurant,” Chiang said. “Until now I realized, at this moment — it is perfect as it is.”
“I want to go back to where I started, I want to go back to cooking, have a balanced life and cook happily,” he added.
After “retiring” from Restaurant Andre, Chiang said he would work at Raw to concentrate on cooking and educating young chefs.
Chiang also asked Michelin not to include Raw in its future editions for Taipei or Taiwan.
Restaurant Andre was the second-best restaurant in Asia and the 14th-best in the world on British magazine Restaurant’s The World’s 50 best Restaurants list.
Chiang was trained in France and is famous for his “Octaphilosophy,” which abstracts gastronomy into the eight elements of salt, texture, memory, “pure,” terroir, south, “artisan” and unique, words printed on Restaurant Andre’s menu.
Chiang is known for frequenting restaurants and bistros in Singapore’s Ostram Park and for his imaginative cooking that combine shis culinary heritages of Taiwan, Japan, France and Singapore.
He said he favors the hands-on style of running a restaurant that is only open when he is cooking, so that he can greet every table and guest, and handwrite greeting cards for the diners’ special occasions.
“After 30 years of a professional culinary career, returning to where I was born 40 years ago has always been my dream. Passing on everything I have to the next generation in Taiwan and China is my duty, and providing young chefs [with] a better education and culinary culture is an urgent priority for me,” Chiang said.
Chiang on Wednedsay said that it has been a decade since his return to Asia and that he hopes to discover more knowledge, techniques and talented people, to pass on the Asian cultural experience.
Taiwan has many industries in which it enjoys inherent advantages and the country should think about how to sustain and maximize opportunities for growth, Chiang said.
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