The new Crudo restaurant in Carmel Valley boasts Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with an Asian touch that features locally-sourced, gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian menu items. Renowned chef and owner Pascal Lorange takes pride in offering diners unique, yet simple presentations that you won’t find anywhere else in San Diego.
Belgian-born Lorange is a world renowned chef who has cooked in Michelin-star kitchens and been in the restaurant industry for more than 25 years. As a child, he would accompany his family on weekly trips to the market to help his parents prepare his favorite dish, “pave de cabillaud” (cod steak). From the age of six, Lorange wanted to continue in the family tradition of four generations of chefs, including his grandfather, uncle, brother and nephew.
Lorange launched his culinary career in the esteemed kitchens of some of Europe’s most distinguished Michelin-star restaurants. At age 17, he began working at the one-Michelin-star Le Prince de Liege in Gembloux, Belgium. At 18, he went to work for three-star Michelin Chef Georges Blanc in Vonnas, France. These early experiences set the stage for an exciting culinary career that continues to flourish today.
By age 22, Lorange was traveling through kitchens all over Europe. During the next several years, he spent five years as a chef on a yacht in the Canary Islands and cooked in the kitchen of the five-star Hotel Jardin Tropical. At 28, he moved to one of the world’s culinary hot-spots, New York City, and worked for Le Pain Quotidien. At age 30, he caught the attention of international superstar Julio Iglesias and became his private chef for several years. In his position, he cooked for numerous dignitaries, including Oscar de la Renta, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as President Obama.
In 2005, Lorange was tasked with launching the concept of Fig & Olive Restaurants, which highlights the fresh ingredients that make up the cuisine across Europe’s southern coastal regions. Over the next 10 years, Pascal managed the Fig & Olive menu and seven restaurant openings across three states.