The Singapore culinary world recently reacted with shock after hearing that one of the country's best restaurants will be closing down, with its restaurateur walking away from the culinary distinction achieved after winning two coveted stars in Singapore's Michelin Guide.
The restaurant in Bukit Pasoh, helmed by Taiwanese celebrity chef Andre Chiang, is set to shutter next year, eight years after it opened.
In a two-page letter to his fans and followers, Chiang explained he wants to retire at the peak of Restaurant Andre, which holds two Michelin stars and is now ranked No. 2 on list just behind Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok.
"I'm a perfectionist and for the past 30 years of my career, I've been looking for that unrealistic "moment of perfection"; Three Michelin stars, World's Top 50 restaurant... until now I realized, at this moment- It is flawless as it is, " the chef wrote on the restaurant's official website post.
"I wish to kindly return my Michelin stars and also request to not be included in the 2018 edition of the Michelin Guide Singapore", reads an excerpt, typed in bold font.
He did not give a specific reason for his decision but suggested he wanted more time to work on other projects.
Like Ferran Adria and Rene Redzepi before him, who shocked the food world when they chose to shutter their restaurants (elBulli in Cala Montjoi, Noma in Copenhagen) at the peak of their success, Chiang said there's nothing left to do at the restaurant, which has attained the summit of perfection.
"He has been successful, and I'm proud of his achievements".
Last month, French chef Sebastian Bras made global headlines for asking Michelin to be stripped of his three-starred status, citing the enormous pressure of having to meeting the rigorous standards every day.
A handful of French restaurateurs have in the past walked away from the ultra-competitive world of Michelin-starred cooking.