Elements of cooking

Octaphilosophy: The Eight Elements of Restaurant Andréis the first English-language book on one of Asia’s leading restaurants, Restaurant André in Singapore, which is included in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. This illustrated monograph of 150 recipes explores chef-owner André Chiang’s creative approach to the fine-dining experience, a concept he callsOctaphilosophy. It combines the technical precision of Asian gastronomy with the produce-driven seasonality of French cuisine.

Octaphilosophydescribes the framework within which Chiang’s daily menu is created. Each dish is built around one of eight subtly interlinked elements – artisan, memory, pure, salt, south, terroir, texture and unique.

Artisancelebrates the heritage of traditional French food producers.Memorytaps into the nostalgia that a perfect dish can evoke.Puredraws out the ingredients’ flavours with minimum intervention of seasoning or cooking.Saltis flavoured by sea brine.Southpays tribute to the food and culture of the south of France.Terroirhails the produce of a specific time and place.Texturerefers to the sensory impact of varying layers within a dish.Uniquechallenges the imagination through unexpected combinations of ingredients.

The book takes the reader through a year in the life of Restaurant André, which opened in 2010, with behind-the-scenes photography and explanations about the origin of the dishes. Chiang wanted to bring the idea of a typical French cheese to Restaurant André. The result is‘Camembert’, asignature desert dish of dry-aged milk bavarois accompanied by a hay ice cream. In order to capturethe charcoal flavours of acommon dish from the South of France – grilled squid andpiquillos,or smoked pepper -Chiang created‘Charcoal’ – a light dish of chargrilled squid in a piquillos dip with charcoaldough bread. And a section of the book is dedicated to the restaurant’s non-alcoholic, natural and artisanal fermented juices that adhere to Chiang’s Octophilosphy.

André Chiang (b.1976, Taiwan) moved to the south of France from Japan aged 15 to train under Jacques and Laurent Pourcel at Le Jardin de Sens, one of France’s most respected restaurants, where he later became head chef. In France, Chiang also worked under other top chefs including Pascal Barbot, Pierre Gagnaire, Joël Robuchon and Michel Troisgros. Multi-lingual Chiang is also a sculptor and ceramicist and his creations are part of the restaurant’s décor and service.

Octaphilosophy: The Eight Elements of Restaurant Andréwas written in conjunction with Lotta Jorgenson ofFoolmagazine with a foreword by Jacques and Laurent Pourcel and photography by Edmond Ho. It follows Chiang’s autobiographyOriginal Intentions, which sold over 200,000 copies in Chinaand Taiwan.

Find out more about Chef Chiang’s culinary career

Octaphilosophy: The Eight Elements of Restaurant Andréby AndréChiang is published by Phaidon on 27 April 2016
Hardback £39.95 | 200 colour illustrations | 340 pages | 290 x 214 mm | ISBN: 9780714871158