SINGAPORE - After marking its seventh anniversary in Singapore on Oct 10, Taiwan-born chef Andre Chiang has announced that he will close his two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Andre in Bukit Pasoh Road on Feb 14 next year.
This shock announcement was sent in an e-mail to press in the wee hours of Wednesday (Oct 11) morning, with an attached letter by Chiang, 41, saying that he will return to Taiwan after the closure.
He also intends to "return" his coveted Michelin stars, and "requests" not to be included in next year's Michelin Guide Singapore.
He added: "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)."
Restaurant Andre is currently ranked No. 2 on the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list, while Raw is No. 24. On the World's 50 Best Restaurants list, Restaurant Andre is No. 14, and is the only restaurant from Singapore to make the top 50.
On the timing of his closure, Chiang said that this is the "best moment" of his life, where he has spent 30 years in the culinary scene.
He told The Straits Times that there no other factors went into his decision other than "simply I think the timing is perfect, and I'm happy with everything I did, I'm satisfied".
In his letter, he called it his "duty" now to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of young chefs in Taiwan and China.
He said to ST: "I'm the only Chinese chef in World 50 best list, and many Asian chefs look up to me. I hope I could spend more time pass on my knowledge instead of simply make Restaurant Andre a better and better restaurant."
Calling himself a "perfectionist", he said in his letter: "I've been looking for that unrealistic 'moment of perfection - three Michelin stars, World's Top 50 Restaurant'... Until now I realised, at this moment, it is perfect as it is."
Additional reporting by Rebecca Lynne Tan