Pascal Oudin (55), celebrated chef/owner of the long-lived and award-winning, upscale French restaurant, Pascal's on Ponce, and its casual new younger sister Brasserie Central, both in Coral Gables, was born and raised in Bourbon Lancy, France. Oudin fell in love with cooking at a tender age, assisting his mother before he could even see over the kitchen counter with everything from small snacks to large family meals. This passion and understanding led the boy to begin his professional career at the age of 13 in a small restaurant in Moulins, a small town in France's gourmet capital of Bourbonnais.

By age 17, Oudin received the prestigious "Best Apprentice Chef Award" in France. This top distinction allowed him to continue his education in the legendary kitchens of France under the masters of haute French cuisine. Alain Ducasse, of the acclaimed Louix XV in Monaco, gave him his first big break at the Les Terrace restaurant in the Juan Les Pins hotel, teaching him the importance of seasonal cooking and the chemistry of food. Pascal furthered his chef's training under 3-star Michelin luminaries Roger Verge and Joseph Rostang. Gaston Lenotre, of Lenotre in Paris, taught him the intricacies of pastry and Jean-Louis Palladin of Jean-Louis in Washington. D.C., served as his mentor when he first came to America in 1982.

Relocating to Miami in 1984, Oudin held his first stint as executive chef at Dominque's Restaurant at the Alexander Hotel on Miami Beach, and held that title at many of South Florida's highest ranked hotel restaurants for 14 years to come. In 1989, Oudin won the prestigious "Florida Chef of the Year Award" from Chefs in America Foundation, while at the Colonnade Hotel in Coral Gables.

In 1995, while at Grand Caf, he was cited by Food & Wine Magazine as one of America's "Best New Chefs" and by Esquire Magazine as "Best New Chef in Florida." In 1997, Oudin helped design the now defunct Sweet Donna's Country Store in South Miami, where he created his own gourmet line of dressings and sauces, something that proved avant-garde for Miami at that time.

In 2000, Oudin realized a lifelong dream and opened Pascal's on Ponce, the intimate 55-seat contemporary French restaurant, featuring local ingredients, prepared fresh, utilizing the classical French techniques he gleaned from the masters. It was immediately recognized by food writer John Mariani, in Esquire Magazine, who named Pascal's on Ponce one of the Best New Restaurants in America for 2000. Gourmet magazine called Pascal's a Neighborhood Gem in 2002 and the New York Times recognized Pascal's as a top new restaurant in 2003.

Now, 15 years later, Pascal has opened Brasserie Central, a brand new haunt for affordable and authentic French faire, located a stone's throw from the existing restaurant at The Village of Merrick Park. The spacious, 147-seat indoor/outdoor bistro allows Oudin to stay true to the authentic Parisian brasserie, making everything from scratch daily, with classic French recipes and methods.

Pascal's on Ponce, located at 2611 Ponce de Leon Blvd., in Coral Gables, is open for lunch and dinner Monday-Friday, and for dinner on Saturday. Phone: 305-444-2024. Brasserie Central, located at The Village of Merrick Park at 320 San Lorenzo Avenue, serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon glacerie, from 11a.m. 11p.m. Phone:

Media Contact:
Ali Jeffries

Learn More About Pascal Oudin

What is your earliest memory involving food or wine?
At the age of 13, showing my mother what I learned in my beginning year of the pre-apprentice chef program.

If you've participated in the Festival before, what is your favorite SOBEWFF memory to date?
Receiving a phone call from Alain Ducasse in 2000, asking me to commit to help him for his first SOBEWFF.

If this is your first year participating in SOBEWFF, what are you most looking forward to?

If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?
My two friends who have become star chefs: Sylvan Portay and Daniel Abid

I never leave home without my:
I never leave home without my: PHONE!..and always have a set of knives in my car.