Pascal Olhats is extraordinary French born, and trained Executive Chef, and restaurateur. He has won numerous awards, owning and collaborating on a number of restaurants in Newport Beach over the past 27 years. He currently owns four businesses, including: Café Jardin Restaurant & Pascal’s Tea Garden Creperie (on the lush grounds of Sherman Gardens & Library in Corona del Mar), Pascal’s Café in San Juan Capistrano (a café/ bakery/ fine dining establishment) , and Pascal’s Catering (offering full-service catering for 20 years throughout Southern California). Pascal also partners with Manassero Farms and orchestrates breakfasts, dinners, and incredible special events, often showcasing guest chefs.
Born in Normandy, France and like many chefs in Europe, it is all about apprenticeships in the kitchen. Pascal’s his first jobs were in the top kitchen of his hometown of Rouen. This included Hotel de Dieppe and La Couronne in the heart of the old city. La Couronne also happens to be the first restaurant Julia Child visit when she and her husband moved to France. She enjoyed the Sole Meuniere by the way.)
Next stop was Brussels and Pascal spent 4 years attending school at the CERIA, a hotel and restaurant college. From there he worked for the well-known Chef Paul Bocuse, first as a server and then as Chef de Rang (Assistant Head Waiter). From there he moved to Lyon, which is well known for the production and weaving of silk, capital of gastronomy in France, and home to Paul Bocuse’s inside food hall and market, Les Halles de Lyon on Cours Lafayette. There Pascal worked at Leon de Lyon Restaurant, as Chef de Rang. From the river’s edge, it was to the shore and St. Tropez was calling. His next job was Service Staff Manager for three years at the famous Club 55. He was also in charge of catering and cooked and served for many celebrities. . In 1984 Pascal moved to the United States working as Chef for Piret’s Restaurant, then Chef de Cuisine for Le Meridien Hotel in Newport Beach. He was also the Executive Chef at Player’s in Irvine, followed by an Executive Chef position at the Chanteclair Restaurant in Newport Beach.
In addition to managing day-to-day operations of his four businesses, Pascal consults for other restaurant groups (including: French 75, Savannah Chophouse and Brasserie Pascal), was recently hired by the Macanese government of Tourism to promote and demonstrate their cuisine in the United States and travels the world with groups to explore countries, culture and cuisine.
Awards and Accolades:
-Named Chef of the year in 1991 by the California Writers Association
-President of the French Chefs Association of Southern California for three years
-Pascal Restaurant has been rated the #1 restaurant in Orange County for 15 years by the Zagat Guide; 16/20 Gault Millau; 10/10 by Elmer Dills… serves light French cuisine with Provencal flair… seen on Oprah for his “Diet a la French”.
-Wine Spectator Award of Excellence
-2006 Restaurant Hall of Fame National Award
-Great chefs of America
-Restaurant Hall of Fame in America
-Best French restaurant, 2015 Golden Foodies Award
-Restaurant of the year 2016 , Orange Coast magazine