TRADITION BY PASCAL
WILL BE CLOSING ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2012
It's sad to see an entire era of Orange County dining coming to an end with the closure of Tradition by Pascal. Here at Great Taste we're sad to see the end of yet another era in Orange County Restaurants and Dining. We don't generally post releases in their entirety in this section but wanted to in this instance share this letter from Pascal.
After nearly 25 years of doing business in Orange County, the journey of my first restaurant, Tradition by Pascal, will be coming to an end.
I know a lot of my great and regular customers and “fans” will be very sad.
To begin, I would like to thank everyone for supporting my restaurant throughout the years. It has been an amazing venture and I am very grateful to have been accepted and rewarded in Orange County as a leader of the dining scene. Thank you, also, to all the staff that has helped me in putting Tradition by Pascal on the map such as my chefs, cooks, servers, and maître d’s.
I have answered some questions that you may want me to answer so you may have a better understanding of why I will be ending this chapter.
Why do you want to close your restaurant when it is still top-rated in Southern California?
I have always been told that if you can end an achievement when you are on the top, do it! For me, it has been 24 years of a “stand up” performance where I am always working to deliver the best restaurant experience I can. Much like acting, you are as good as your last “cooking” performance.
I do believe it will be the best for my patrons where they may keep great memories for years to come.
What is next? Do you have other plans in the near future?
No new plans in the near future, just a few ideas. I will, though, be spending more time and energy into Pascal Épicerie, creating new dishes, great macarons, bringing in good wines and cheeses, and branding some of my homemade products. I will also be spending more time at Brasserie Pascal, another very successful restaurant.
Briefly describe the ups and downs you’ve experienced in this quarter century business?
As a fine dining restaurant, “Pascal’s” has gone through several economic down times in the early 90’s, 2008, and after 9/11. This makes you learn how to be an entrepreneur and not just a chef. Those have been the downs.
As for the ups, I appreciate all the great press I have received year after year as well as the great ratings from Zagat and other Internet surveys. I have also been privileged enough to cook for several celebrities such as Julia Child, George W. Bush, Gwyneth Paltrow, Quincy Jones, Brooke Shields, and many more…
Do you have a personal goal you want to achieve?
First, if I have some free time, I would like to write my own cookbook where I will include with it my own lifetime of cooking journey. I also would like to spend more time working on my other passion, aside from cooking, which is painting. I would love to have a cooking show where I could be host to young chefs, aspiring chefs, as well as food purveyors… that is a dream!
A lot of people want and dream about opening up a restaurant. How would you advise them?
I could write an entire book on that subject, perhaps titled “Opening a Restaurant for Dummies” (like the ‘how-to’ book series). First, you need to have passion. Second, do not have “making” money a priority. Make sure you understand that the restaurant is going to take over your own life and may break your established personal and social life. Lastly, you need to realize that “just cooking” is not enough. You need to learn and become knowledgeable about accounting, managing, teaching, learning diplomacy, marketing, design, and even handy-man work! These are just some of the keys to becoming and staying in a successful business.
What is going to happen within the next 40 days?
At Tradition by Pascal we will be serving, from now until February 15th, a special prix fixe menu titled “The Best Of.” It will be like the last touring performance featuring dishes like the sea bass au thyme, dijon-crusted rack of lamb, and foie gras. I will also be there to personally thank everyone for the great support throughout the years and for sharing with me such great memories.
Will Orange County still be able to enjoy your food?
To begin, Pascal Épicerie will continue serving the food you love and, soon, some more great new dishes.
Café Jardin in Sherman Gardens (Corona del Mar) will also continue serving great lunches as well as catering great parties and weddings in what I believe to be the most beautiful outdoor environment in Orange County.
At Brasserie Pascal, in Fashion Island, I will be adding some of my signature dishes on the existing menu.
I am also a chef and managing consultant at two top restaurants in Orange County, French 75 and Savannah Chop House, where some of my previous chefs from Tradition by Pascal are in charge of the kitchen.
I also plan to continue cooking great private dinners in the comfort of your own homes, as this is something I have always enjoyed doing!
The future tenant of the “Tradition” location has also hired me as a consultant so, though you won’t see me there, I will still be leaving some Pascal touches.
So regardless of the closing of Tradition by Pascal, I will still have the chance to cook for you in many other ways and locations. This is the last page of one chapter, but the book has not ended.
Merci and bon appétit!