André Chiang, the iconic chef who closed his eponymous flagship earlier this year, will open a new concept in the old Restaurant André space in Singapore and another venture in a second Asian city.
Chef André Chiang, winner of the Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018, is working on two new Asian restaurant concepts after closing Restaurant André. While he relocates to Taiwan, he is planning a new opening in the old Restaurant André space and a different concept in another city, which he hasn't yet revealed.
“Over the past 10 years, we have developed seven different restaurant concepts. Now, we don’t want to replicate Restaurant André somewhere else,” Chiang said during a live interview at #50BestTalks, presented by Miele, at Wynn Macau. “We want to create something new that reflects the identity of the place where we will be. We’re planning to put a new concept in the original Restaurant André, something completely new for Singapore and a new cuisine category that the city doesn’t have at the moment.”
Since closing his restaurant in February, Chiang has relocated to his birth country, Taiwan, and is working on ways to nurture young talent and develop his team’s individual strengths. “I’m thinking about how to bring out their own talents. I don’t want everything to be André’s way. I want to give them more space to create and guide them along the way,” he said.
“We have such a great brigade around the world and over the past 10 years I have really learnt the power of the team,” the chef said. “I always feel like I give 100% in my work, but with my team I can give 120%. I am more of a coach than a player at this moment.”
Watch Restaurant André: end of an era:
Chiang also talked about Taiwan, which he left at the age of 13 in favour of Japan and later France, where he received his formal training as a chef. “Three years ago we created Raw in Taipei and that was a gift for Taiwan, something completely different that showed the identity of the country. I am excited and anxious about going back,” he said.
Whatever he does next, Chiang says that his signature guiding “octaphilosophy” will always remain in his work. “Octaphilosophy will come wherever André is. It’s the way I work, the way I think and the way I create. I think every chef and every restaurant has its own Octaphilosophy – those few words that show your identity, and everything that you create always goes back to that core.”
Reflecting on his role as one of the most acclaimed Chinese chefs in the world, Chiang said that he wants his focus to be food education. “There is so much more we can do in Asia. Many young chefs draw inspiration from overseas, but before that we need to understand our own culture, our own seasons and our environment. I hope that in the next 10 years we can see 10 or 15 new Andrés on the [50 Best Restaurants] list,” said Chiang.
“What we’re doing now is for 20 to 30 years later, when people will talk about 2018. What will be a dish, a cuisine or a restaurant that represents 2018? I never feel that I have to hold back in what I create. I have always created for the present moment. I’m not afraid of a new challenge and of a new phase,” said Chiang, concluding a conversation that surely inspired many of the chefs and foodies in the audience.
The new list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 will be revealed at an awards ceremony at Wynn Palace the evening of Tuesday 27th March. Head to the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Facebook page to watch the livestream of the ceremony and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to stay up to date with the latest news.