This Is Not Goodbye, Says Andre Chiang
Even as consumers prepare to celebrate their love over an aptly fine meal, one notably passionate chef is preparing to close a chapter on a long culinary love affair with another country, one he has called home the last decade.
Today, Andre Chiang will cook his last meal at his two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Andre (No. 14 on last year’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and No. 2 on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list the same year).
When news first broke last October, the same day he opened the restaurant 10 years before (and coincidentally his wedding anniversary), the industry was genuinely surprised. Today, at the restaurant’s last “family meal” and press conference, it was clear how hard a decision it was to make. With his tearful wife and pillar beside him, Chiang shared with the media his final thoughts on the matter with the hopes of saying a proper “thank you and farewell”.
“We pushed hard, we pushed very hard, but I don’t want to stay still… I want to take another 10 years and do something greater than this,” shared the 41-year-old (42 in April), who will be moving back to Taiwan—a place he has known for so long but has never grown up with—in pursuit of personal goals he has had on his list for quite a while. Among other things, his vision for the next five to 10 years is devoted to leading the food education in Asia, strengthen the Taiwanese culinary heritage and identity.
“Singapore’s home, Taiwan ‘s home, Asia’s home,” he continued. “So regardless where I am, I’m going to make sure we make Asia proud.”
In a thank you letter issued today, he started by admitting how hard it is for him to express his feelings during this period. But he was clear how proud he should be of what he has achieved “for Singapore, for Asia, and for the world”.
“I am unsure if I should be happy as I embark on this bright new future ahead of me, or to be sad as we close this chapter and say goodbye to Restaurant Andre—one of the best restaurants in the world,” he shared, adding that the one thing he will miss most is having “the best team” behind it.
Still, he insists, this is not goodbye. While he may not be helming the kitchen, a new venture is set to take over the original location. “We are planning a new category of cuisine and concept after the closure of Restaurant Andre,” he shared. It’s slated to open towards the end on the year, and is still going to serve a fine dining experience.
Chiang also endeavours to spend more time with his chefs and take good care of all seven restaurants under the Restaurant ANDRE group (including Burnt Ends, MeatSmith, Bincho, Porte 12 in Paris, Raw in Taipei, The Bridge in Chengdu, and 3 new upcoming projects set to open by the end of 2018.
In the meantime, he said he wanted to simply say: “Thank you Singapore for a decade of love and support, this has been the best period of my life so far”.
For a touching farewell of Restaurant Andre, watch the video below.