Taiwanese Chef André Chiang Gets Candid About Embracing Change and Finding the Meaning of Success
Our battle with the Covid-19 pandemic has kept us apart, but as award-winning chef and restauranteur Andre Chiang shared during the inaugural segment of Tatler Talks—a series of intimate fireside chats with inspiring individuals—it has also made us appreciate our relationships more.
Speaking from his home in Taiwan, Chiang was clearly elated to see a couple of familiar faces from Singapore, a place he still calls home, having made his mark on the international dining scene with the success of his eponymous Singapore restaurant.
He was also just the person Tatler Singapore wanted to speak with about the art of embracing change. Two years ago (on February 14), after eight years of inspiring food lovers here and across the globe, the remarkably driven chef decided to shutter Restaurant André—which had by then earned two Michelin stars—and move back to Taiwan in search of new challenges.
The last two years of operating the restaurant, he noted, was a turning point, when he had to reassess what success meant for him. “Luckily, we did this documentary ... otherwise, I don’t know how to tell everyone the story,” Chiang said.
This was truly a serendipitous collaboration, as it was a confident Josiah Ng, a Singaporean filmmaker, who made the first move, convincing Chiang to allow him to document the restaurant’s last services and the chef-restauranteur’s journey back to Taiwan where he would focus his energies on the rising success of restaurant Raw in Taipei, which this year earned its second Michelin star rating for its seasonal menus that spotlight local ingredients via modernist creations inspired by Taiwanese classics.
(Related: This Is Not Goodbye, Says Andre Chiang)
The documentary is presented in eight chapters, shared Ng, to mirror Chiang’s Octaphilosophy—the eight sensorial elements (artisan, memory, pure, salt, south, terroir, texture and unique) that had defined the dining experience at Restaurant André. The film also broke local box office records when it debut in Taiwan on August 21. Plans to premiere it in Singapore are are currently being discussed.
Updates on the Singapore launch of the documentary André and His Olive Tree, can be found on the film’s official Facebook page.
Watch the video below for a peek at what went down at the Tatler Talks with André Chiang event: