Andre Chiang, one of the most influential chefs in Asia and the world has shocked the culinary world by announcing that he would close down his award-winning restaurant ANDRE in Singapore and return his Michelin stars. In the process, the chef, who also has another restaurant in Taipei called Raw has also asked the Michelin guide to no longer feature him in the guide.
In a letter he sent to clients and friends, the chef said: “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 Best 50 Restaurants list, until now I realized, at this moment- It is perfect as it is”
The restaurant will close on 14th February.
The chef said that he has a quote on the cover of his biography which states that the moment he perfects a dish is the moment he lets it go from his menu. It is for this reason that he has decided to close his restaurant in Singapore and head back to where he started.
Saying he started cooking at 13, this month is his 30th year of this professional culinary journey. “I want to go back to where I started, I want to go back to cooking, to have a balanced life and cook happily. I always ask this of my brigade, “Why do you want to be a chef?” The happiness of
cooking a beautiful, tasty dish, not for the fame, not for having a thousand likes, but through the process of being a true professional, makes us a better person; now I’m so proud to see that each one of Restaurant ANDRE’s team being Honest- Passionate- Creative- Flexible- and Positive individuals.”
He said that what his team and he have built something unbeatable and unbelievable. But he was preparing for a significant transformation by February 2018 by re prioritising his professional life. In the process he has asked to return the Michelin stars and not to be included in the 2018 edition of the Michelin Guide Singapore.
“Following Michelin Guide’s expansion in Asia, I understand that Michelin will soon launch new editions in Bangkok and Taiwan (where my other
restaurant RAW is located in Taipei). As my hope is that RAW will be the pure place where I can focus on educating, developing others, and cooking after my retirement from Restaurant ANDRE, I also request that RAW not be included in the Michelin Guide Taiwan (or Taipei),” the chef said.
He said you might ask why now. “Because this is the best moment of my life, I walked into the restaurant, into the kitchen, I see everyone, everything in order, polished, flawless, I have never seen any restaurant like this! Every one of them is everything I hoped for, this is the perfect team that I will not see anywhere else again, and we have achieved everything we want to achieve.
Andre and his brigade will serve their last service at Restaurant ANDRE on the 14th of February 2018; after this, there will be a few projects in 2018 and 2019, of which we wish to share with you more in the near future. After thirty years of a professional culinary career, returning to where I was
born forty 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 a better education and culinary culture is an urgent priority for me.
“Since day one of Restaurant ANDRE I told myself I want to let all my diners have a hand-written card by me when they celebrate their special moment with us; until today, Restaurant ANDRE would only open for operation when I myself am cooking; I will greet every table, every single guest, make sure we have 30 happy guests every service; my wife will decorate the restaurant everyday personally- flower arrangement, room scent and even down to every single toiletry.”
“We moved around the tables of the entire restaurant from 1st to 3rd floor every single service, change the configuration to fit perfectly the room and the agenda of each guest; we are still doing it. We decide to change the menu spontaneously whenever we want, not a single overlap dish from lunch to dinner on the same day; we are still doing it. We were determined to make Singapore proud, make Asia proud, to be one of the
best restaurants in the world; we did it, and are still doing it,” he said.
“Although Restaurant ANDRE’s legacy will soon become a fond memory to the world’s gourmets, I have no regrets, as we have achieved all that we have wanted to for Singapore and for Asia. Now, it is time for me to go home. I’m a perfectionist, and this is perfect.”