Taiwan-born André Chiang, the acclaimed chef-owner of Restaurant André in Singapore and Raw in Taipei, has been named the 2018 recipient of The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award – Asia. Part of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards programme, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award is voted for by members of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, comprising over 300 leaders in the restaurant and culinary industries throughout Asia.
Acknowledging the honour, Chiang said: “While I was thrilled to be the first Chinese chef to appear on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, I am equally honoured to be the first Chinese chef to receive this prestigious award. My focus has always been to put Asia on the culinary world map and this recognition reinforces that goal. I will remember this moment forever.”
William Drew, Group Editor of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants said: “André Chiang is among the world’s most respected, prominent and successful chefs, and the coveted Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award is an honour that reflects his culinary journey to date. We look forward to seeing the direction he will take in the next phase of his already stellar career.”
Born into a creative family, Chiang left school at 13 to train alongside his mother in her Chinese restaurant in Japan. After two years of learning about Chinese cooking and Japanese cuisine, he left to continue his culinary education in Europe. Relocating to Montpellier in the south of France, he was mentored by Jacques and Laurent Pourcel at the acclaimed Le Jardin des Sens. During his 14 years in France, Chiang mastered French techniques while working with such luminaries as Pierre Gagnaire, Michel Troisgros, and Joel Robuchon.
Returning to Asia, Chiang settled in Singapore and in 2008 opened Jaan par André, a fine-dining French restaurant at Swissôtel The Stamford. Quickly earning international recognition, Chiang’s 40-seat eatery Jaan par André debuted on the 2010 list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants at No. 39. Chiang’s refined Mediterranean-influenced menu showcased his creative mastery of French techniques and precise attention to detail. Diners were also introduced to the chef’s ‘Octaphilosophy’, his guiding principle that describes the eight elements of his gastronomy, namely Salt, Texture, Unique, Memory, Purity, Terroir, South and Artisan.
2010 marked the opening of Restaurant André, Chiang’s eponymous 30-seat restaurant in Singapore set in an intimate 1920s three-storey building in the Chinatown district. Restaurant André debuted on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013 at No.38 and last year ranked No.14. On Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Restaurant André has consistently placed in the top 10, peaking at No.2 in 2017 before closing its doors for good in February 2018.
In 2013, Chiang co-launched Burnt Ends, his wood-fire barbecue concept in Singapore. Extending his influence in Asia, a year later he opened Raw in his native Taipei. Featuring innovative design and inspired artwork, Raw blends seasonal Taiwanese ingredients with modern international influences. Entering Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2016, last year it ranked at No.24, earning the ‘Best Restaurant in Taiwan’ title.
Chiang sent shockwaves through Asia’s culinary scene in October when he announced his plans to close Restaurant André in February and return to his home country of Taiwan. In his official statement, Chiang stated his intention “to focus on educating, developing others… and providing young chefs with a better education and culinary culture… Although Restaurant André’s legacy will soon become a fond memory to the world’s gourmets, I have no regrets, as we have achieved all that we have wanted to for Singapore and for Asia.”
Sheryl Yasger, Vice President, Diners Club International said: “Diners Club International is honoured to recognise Chef André Chiang for his dedication, talent and passion in the culinary world. We are proud to support Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants and celebrate Chef André for being named the 2018 recipient of the Diners Club International® Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Chiang will formally receive his award at the sixth annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony on 27th March 2018, hosted at Wynn Palace, Macao.