Chef Andre Chiang is leaving Singapore – and being a perfectionist is one of the reasons he’s doing so

Chef Andre Chiang of Restaurant Andre.
The Straits Times

For years, he’s worked hard at maintaining top place in the culinary world. But respected chef Andre Chiang is now saying goodbye to Singapore’s food industry with plans to return to his native Taiwan.

In a shocking statement released on Oct 11, Chiang announced that his two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Andre would be serving its final dish on Feb 14 next year.

He will also request for his Michelin stars to be “returned”, and wishes to not be included in next year’s edition of Michelin Guide Singapore.

At the same time, he also does not wish for his restaurant in Taiwan – Raw – to be included in the Taiwan edition of the Michelin Guide.

“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),” he wrote in the statement posted on Andre’s website.

Restaurant Andre has held two stars in the Michelin Guide Singapore since the guide’s launch in 2016.

The restaurant is also ranked No. 2 on S.Pellegrino’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, and 14 on the world list, where Taiwan restaurant Raw is ranked 24.

“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 realised (sic), at this moment – It is perfect as it is,” he wrote.

Chiang, who started cooking at age 13, also said that he decided to commemorate his 30th year in professional culinary by going “back to where I started, I want to go back to cooking, have a balanced life and cook happily”.

As for why he is choosing to put an end to Andre’s success at this time, Chiang says: “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”.

He adds that returning to Taiwan had always been my dream, and he calls passing on his skills to the next generation in Taiwan and China his “duty”.

Chiang ended his letter by writing: “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.”