Singapore chef Andre Chiang returns Michelin stars and announces plans to close

Lawrence Kim
October 13, 2017

"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... until now I realized, at this moment- It is ideal as it is, " the chef wrote on the restaurant's official website post.

"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)".

Chiang's surprise move sent shockwaves through the world of gastronomy.

Over in Bangkok, Gaggan Anand of Gaggan (No. 1 on Asia's 50 Best 2017) expressed disappointment.

Chiang, famed for creating the eight-spoked Octaphilosophy-guided menu at Restaurant Andre, trained in France with chefs like Pierre Gagnaire and Joel Robuchon.

Singapore became the latest food destination with fewer Michelin Stars- for its restaurants as chef Andre Chiang of the acclaimed Restaurant Andre announced he is returning the restaurant's two stars to the guide-as well as shutting the restaurant down. "Raw will be the platform for showing the best of what Taiwan can offer", he said. Last month, French Chef S├ębastien Bras of Le Suquet asked to be stripped of the three Michelin Stars he's held since 1999 because he no longer wanted the pressure of having to retain them.

But the chef disputes it.

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.

"I do not have to prove anything to anyone". He also requested not to include RAW in Michelin's guide. "I know I have gained more", he said. "It is an urgent priority for me to provide young chefs with a better education and culinary culture".

Veteran restaurateur Ignatius Chan said it was "Singapore's loss to lose such a talented chef", The Straits Times newspaper reported.

"My decision to close Restaurant Andre is not related to any awards".

At 41, he is doing what he said he would, but four years ahead of schedule. He will spend time at Burnt Ends, MeatSmith and Bincho, restaurants here in which he has invested, and also at Porte 12, his bistronomy restaurant in Paris.

In a two-page letter to his fans and followers, Chiang explained he wants to retire at the peak of Restaurant Andre, which holds two Michelin stars and is now ranked No. 2 on Asia's 50 Best Restaurant list just behind Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok. "The 16 to 18 hours a day I put in at Restaurant Andre restricts the time available for these".

"I know I can do more than just cook".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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