Andre Chiang

World-renowned Chef

One would think André has the coveted Midas touch of gastronomy. He may have closed the chapter on his eponymous two-star Michelin Restaurant André in 2018, but four establishments he helped set up – RAW, Zen, Sichuan Moon and Burnt Ends – continue to make the Michelin muster today. Add to that the accolades from Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, World’s 50 Best Restaurants and countless other gastronomy-related organisations, and you have a list of achievements most would not dream of attaining in several lifetimes.

But awards are just the garnish on a culinary journey otherwise dedicated to the pursuit of ideals and excellence. And that’s what prompted André to take a hiatus from his exploration of French fine dining and rediscover his Asian roots.

His journey culminated in two-star Michelin restaurant Sichuan Moon in Macau’s Wynn Palace, which opened its doors in 2019. Within a palace setting – akin to how Sichuan cuisine was historically served to royalty –  guests revel in a dining affair that spans four hours, getting to know each handcrafted dish in exquisite detail.

About you
1. What was your culinary journey like?
Throughout my 16-year career in France, I only worked in three-star Michelin restaurants, and only with the very best in the field. That shaped my culinary journey to be one characterised by determination, hard work and perfectionism. 
2. What obstacles did you have to overcome to get to where you are?
I first had to learn and master the French language when I started out, then I had to endure physical fatigue while constantly working long hours. After the first two years however, I was mentally and physically fit for the task, and what had been obstacles to me have become strengths that I’ve harnessed over the past 30 years.
3. What was the defining moment when you felt you had to do what you were doing?
I always knew. I grew up in my mother’s restaurant kitchen in Japan, and I’ve been passionate about cooking since I was little. I can only say that I love good food; therefore I want to cook and share good food

About your food
1. How would you describe “Octo-philosophy”, which you’ve developed as your unique style of preparing and serving dishes?
It’s a process of creation and the principle that grounds my culinary journey. There are eight elements in Octo-philosophy, which represent how we look at cuisine through eight different perspectives: Pure, Artisan, Texture, South, Memory, Salt, Unique and Terroir.
2. Who or what has inspired you the most in your cooking journey?
Among others, the two Chef Pourcel brothers taught me to be humble and embrace all kinds of produce, Chef Troisgros taught me to be simple and precise, while Chef Gagnaire taught me to be fearless and creative.
3. What is your go-to comfort food?
I love hotpot. Whenever I’m feeling down or stressed, hotpot is always my comfort food. I just need a good soup base that can go with any produce – it’s simple and straightforward.

About your choice of ingredients
1. Do you enjoy using Japanese ingredients in your cooking? Why?
Yes! Japanese ingredients are known for their high quality and consistency, so in fine dining, they are always our first choice.
2. What is the one Japanese ingredient you may have found indispensable in your creations?
Kombu! Umami is one thing that is always present in my cuisine, and kombu is a must. It sets a very important foundation for the flavour profiles in my creations.
3. Are there any ingredients that you’d like to experiment with but have yet to have a chance to?
I am very familiar with Japanese ingredients, as I lived in Japan for two years when I was 13. However, recently I experimented with “liquid shio koji “, which I found very interesting! It has a natural umami taste, and is very versatile – it can be used to cure, ferment, season and even replace salt! It is definitely my best discovery in recent years!