André Chiang brings philosophical food to life
‘Octaphilosophy’ might sound like something dreamt up for an underwater sci-fi movie but it is, in fact, a well-considered approach to cooking undertaken by forward-thinking chef André Chiang.
Art and philosophy are guiding principles for Taiwan-born, French-trained Chiang. Octaphilosophy is his way of describing the key characteristics of his gastronomy: Unique, Texture, Memory, Pure, Terroir, Salt, South, and Artisan. Through his dishes Chiang explores the role these characteristics play in his food, and in gastronomy as a whole, whether it be grilled Taiwanese baby corn for Artisan; lobster, potato gnocchi and caviar for Texture; or foie gras jelly with truffles for Memory. Each dish could equally come under the name ‘simple’, with none containing more than a handful of ingredients in order not to drown each other out. But the cooking is also highly nuanced and champions food in unfamiliar formats and textures; the work of a chef at the very top of his game.