Fig & Olive
Pascal Lorange has always been interested in creating recipes and sharing his love for fine food. As a child he would accompany his family on weekly trips to the market and help his parents prepare his favorite dish, pavé de cabillaud (“cod steak”), with mashed potatoes, parsley, and vegetables. From the age of six, Lorange wanted to continue in the tradition of becoming a chef, and follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and father before him.
Lorange launched his culinary career in the esteemed kitchens of some of Europe’s most distinguished Michelin-starred restaurants. At just 17, he began working at the one-star Le Prince de Liege in Gembloux, Belgium. At 19, he went to work for renowned 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 the time Lorange was 22, he had landed in Tenerife on the Spanish Canary Islands off the coast of western Africa. He spent the next six years there.
Lorange’s reputation soon preceded him and next, he became the private chef for Julio Iglesias, a job that once again allowed him to travel—from Miami to the Dominican Republic and Spain—over the next two years. His position put him in touch with numerous celebrities and dignitaries, resulting in chef positions for Oscar de la Renta, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Oscar de la Renta, and the Clintons. The Clintons, in fact, were so impressed by Lorange’s cooking that he was asked to chef for them while they vacationed at Iglesias’ Dominican Republic home, and again the following year, while Clinton was working on his memoirs.
In 2005, Lorange received a fortuitous call from Laurent Halasz, who was working on launching a new restaurant called FIG & OLIVE, which would highlight the fresh, healthy ingredients that make up the cuisine across Europe’s Southern coastal regions in the South of France, Italy, and Spain. He asked Lorange to come onboard as executive chef to oversee the menus for the concept’s four locations in New York, as well as its latest outpost at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, CA.
Lorange, 37, continues to find inspiration from his travels—joining Halasz on a yearly sojourn to Italy, Spain, and the South of France, where they discover new olive oils and local recipes that are well suited for the cuisine at FIG & OLIVE. With the abundance of fresh local produce, as well as the city’s temperate climate, Lorange is excited to recreate the essence of the Mediterranean for diners in Orange County. “Traveling, creating, and cooking are my passions,” he says. “At FIG & OLIVE, I am able to bring these simple, uncomplicated flavors to our guests—giving them a taste of some of the best cuisine from the most beautiful parts of the world, focusing on the splendor of the coastal towns of the Mediterranean.”