I’m used to chefs telling me they’ve made everything I’m eating: the butter, the bread, sometimes even the wine. But Singapore’s André Chiang takes the handmade ethos to the extreme at his Restaurant André. He proudly claims responsibility for the slightly uneven edges of my unglazed clay plate, bowl, and saucer. He molded and fired half the dishware in his restaurant. “I used to take pottery classes. I kind of like the imperfection,” he says. Menus are decorated with Chiang’s rough line sketch of the three-floor townhouse the restaurant occupies. For items the chef doesn’t make with his own hands, he collaborates with other experts. He worked with a Danish carpenter to design the dining room chairs and with a Japanese artist to create the porcelain bread baskets. His French nouvelle dishes, like artichoke barigoule with grilled needlefish shine the spotlight on a different sort of craft. “My goal is to highlight the produce that the farmers labor over,” he says. “The ingredients have been grown and harvested with care. That’s an art worthy of recognition.”
Restaurant André. 41 Bukit Pasoh Rd., 65/6534-8880. This appeared in the May/June 2012 issue.