Those of you who haven’t tried chef André Chiang’s acclaimed Octaphilosophy menu, you have a little over four months to do so. Sadly, the Taiwan-born chef, who helped put Singapore on the global dining map, announced yesterday that Restaurant André will officially close its doors on February 14, 2018—eight years after he opened his eponymous restaurant. He will also return his two Michelin stars.
In an announcement posted on his website, he says that after 30 years of cooking professionally, he wishes to “re-prioritize" his professional life from early next year and move back to his home country of Taiwan, to focus on his other restaurant, Raw. He notes that the Michelin Guide will be expanding in Bangkok and Taiwan next year, and has also requested not to be included in the 2018 edition. He hopes Raw will be the "pure place" where he can focus on educating and cooking after his retirement from Restaurant André.
While he has a few projects lined up for 2018 and 2019, his main goal is to help budding chefs in Taiwan and China reach their dreams—much like how he had.
He adds, “Although Restaurant André’s legacy will soon become a fond memory, I have no regrets… we have achieved all that we have wanted to for Singapore and for Asia.”
This bold move has the industry buzzing with speculation. Those who questioned if he was only chasing stars are even more surprised. Regardless, those who knew him better can appreciate the relentless pressures of performing at the highest level. "He is my business partner," says Singaporean hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng, who co-owns award-winning Burnt Ends with chef André. "It is a very tough business, with very tough expectations."
To be sure, we can expect a frantic race to book a "last meal" at Restaurant André. Read his full statement here.
This story originally appeared on singaporetatler.com