Traci Des Jardins
Traci Des Jardins with Gary Danko in the background
Traci Des Jardins is an American chef and restaurateur who owns Jardinière, a French influenced California fine-dining restaurant in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, California. She is also chef/partner of Public House, a sports pub serving local, sustainable classic pub food near AT&T Park in San Francisco; chef/owner of Mijita, a taquería located in the San Francisco Ferry Building and at AT&T Park; and chef/partner of Manzanita in the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe.
Des Jardins was raised on a farm in Firebaugh, California, near Fresno. Her father is of French Acadian descent, and her mother’s family is from the Mexican state of Sonora. Her maternal grandparents, Angela and Miguel Salazar, lived in a small house nearby, and Des Jardins has many strong childhood memories of her grandmother’s preparing flour tortillas. The Des Jardins' dinner table featured produce from the garden and game from the land in dishes which reflected her family's Mexican and Louisianan-French Acadian heritage.
Des Jardins apprenticed at several three-star French restaurants, including La Maison Troisgros, and was executive chef at Joachim Splichal’s Patina in Los Angeles. Later, she worked at notable San Francisco restaurants Aqua, Elka, and Rubicon before opening Jardinière in 1998.
In 2007, Des Jardins won the James Beard Foundation Award for best chef in the Pacific region. In 1995, she was named the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year.” She has won Food & Wine’s “Best New Chef,” and San Francisco magazine’s “Chef of the Year” awards. Jardinière was named Esquire magazine’s “Best New Restaurant,” which was also nominated as a “Best New Restaurant” by the James Beard Foundation.
Traci Des Jardins competed on Top Chef: Masters (season 3), that debuted April 6, 2011 and was a runner-up. She also appeared on an episode of Iron Chef America in 2005, in which she defeated Mario Batali. Later, she competed in The Next Iron Chef but was eliminated in the first episode.
- "Traci des Jardins". Public House. 2010. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Severson, Kim (2005-06-22). "THE CHEF: TRACI DES JARDINS; A Comforting Breakfast Starts With Salsa". New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- "Traci Des Jardins". Manzanita Lake Tahoe. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Severson, Kim (2005-05-25). "THE CHEF: TRACI DES JARDINS; Tortillas Let a Cook Come Home Again". New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Severson, Kim (2005-06-08). "THE CHEF: Traci Des Jardins; Listening for the Wisdom of the Carrot". New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Severson, Kim (2005-07-06). "THE CHEF: TRACI DES JARDINS; A Steak Brought Up Well, Please". New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Ganahl, Jane (August 12, 2005). "S.F. crowd cheers on chef Traci Des Jardins as 'Iron Chef' airs on big screen at Jardiniere". San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 2011-06-02.
- Lee, Cindy (2007-10-10). "What's New: Traci Des Jardins off 'Next Iron Chef'". SFGate.com (Hearst Corporation). Retrieved 2011-06-02.