Two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Andre to close

He has done all that he wants to do and it is time to move on to his other passions, said chef Andre Chiang, shocking the food world here yesterday when he announced he will close the two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Andre on Feb 14 next year.

Speaking to The Straits Times, the Taiwan-born chef said one priority is researching the produce from the country of his birth and showcasing them at Raw, his restaurant in Taipei.

"Raw is the platform for showing the best of what Taiwan can offer," Chiang, 41, said.

"I want to spend time researching my culture."

He will also be working on design projects and continuing with the pottery and sculpture work he has had to squeeze in between 16-hour days at Restaurant Andre in Bukit Pasoh.

Two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Andre to close
Chef Andre Chiang will be moving to Taipei. ST FILE PHOTO

While he will be returning to Taiwan, he has not given up on Singapore.

He will spend time at Burnt Ends, MeatSmith and Bincho restaurants here - in which he has investments - as well as Porte 12, his bistronomy restaurant in Paris.

He will also curate the concept for the restaurant that will take over Restaurant Andre.

Even before he opened the restaurant, the chef knew the trajectory of his career.

In an interview with ST in 2010, he said: "I will retire, maybe at 45, and help more young people become chefs."

Chiang blew into Singapore like a breath of fresh air in 2008 to head the kitchen at Jaan at Swissotel The Stamford, just two years before he opened Restaurant Andre, which has since earned two Michelin stars in the Singapore edition of the guide.

He had honed his skills in the toughest Michelin-starred restaurants in France and thrilled diners here with beautifully plated and carefully thought-out food that managed to be refined without being fussy.

At 41, he is doing what he said he would, but four years ahead of schedule. Why does he not want to garner a third Michelin star for the restaurant?

"Why? Do you think it is going to change anything? No, I do not think so.

"Will it make a better success story? Maybe. But do I have to have a movie ending that everybody wants to see?

"I know I can do more than just cook. I do not feel that I have lost something. I know I have gained more," he said. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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