A renowned chef blends his culinary philosophies into the design of his home in Taiwan.
The look of chef André Chiang’s cuisine tends to be as compelling as its flavors. His red grape carpaccio with peaches and pink coriander, for example, is a delicate play of circles with the luminosity of stained glass. Beyond art-directing his dishes, he has also guided the design of his stylish and highly rated dining venues on two continents, including his former flagship, the two-star Michelin-rated Restaurant André, in Singapore.
Not surprisingly, the chef took a lead role in the design of his house in Taiwan, where some of his culinary approaches crossed over into the architecture. His “Octaphilosophy”—a culinary code based on eight essential “elements” he calls “pure, salt, artisan, south, texture, unique, memory, and terroir”—is the core of his cuisine. And purity, texture, and memory could describe his house: a minimalist composition of concrete, black steel, and glass in Yilan County, a largely rural area about an hour’s drive southeast of Taipei, the Taiwanese capital.
Though born in Taiwan, André spent periods of his youth in Japan, where his mother, Tina Lin, owned a restaurant and taught him to cook. Later, he trained in France and the Seychelles, and then spent a decade in Singapore. Along the way, he garnered numerous accolades, including a Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award and the number-two spot on the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, for Restaurant André. But as he entered his 40s, he felt ready to return to Taiwan and settle down. He imagined building a home where his mother could live with him and his wife, Sudarampai.
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