The 8 Year Journey Of Octaphilosophy
Taiwan's first Michelin Chef André Chiang has just officially announced the closure date of Restaurant ANDRE after 8 years of legacy. He expressed his enthusiasm and caring about passing down his experience and knowledge to young talents and cultivating a better food culture for Taiwan in the future.
The 8 Year Journey Of OctaphilosophyBy Andre Chiang
To my Dear friends and Beloved guests,
“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 perfect as it is”
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 move 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!
We never doubted ourselves, although everything we try to achieve, no one has ever done it before, but that doesn’t matter, because we know we are unique and we are striving for our “perfection”.
I have a quote on the cover of my biography, it says: “The moment I perfect a dish, is the moment I let go from my menu”
I started to cook since I was 13, and this month will be the 30th year of my professional culinary journey.
I want to go back to where I started, I want to go back to cooking, have a balanced life and cook happily.
I always ask this of my brigade, “Why 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.
WE HAVE BUILT SOMETHING UNBEATABLE AND UNBELIEVABLE HERE.
I am writing to officially inform you that I, Andre Chiang, on behalf of Restaurant ANDRE in Singapore, am preparing for a significant transformation by February 2018; specifically, I have decided to re-prioritize my professional life from early next year, and as such, I wish to kindly return my Michelin stars and also request to not 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).
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. 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.”
(This article presents the opinion or perspective of the original author, which does not represent the standpoint of CommonWealth Magazine.)