A California native of a small central valley agricultural community, Traci Des Jardins has been a part of the San Francisco food community for 25 years and has opened many great San Francisco restaurants. She currently runs a diverse group of eateries, from her iconic Jardinière, Ferry Building located Mijita, to Public House in AT&T Park which serves classic American fare. Traci’s newest ventures, The Commissary, Arguello, and Transit are located in the Presidio in San Francisco in a newly formed partnership with the Presidio Trust and Bon Appetit Management Company. They also offer catering, under Presidio Foods Catering, in a number of amazing venues in the Presidio.
Before opening Jardinière in San Francisco in 1997, Des Jardins worked in some of the highly acclaimed kitchens in Los Angeles, France, and New York City. Classically trained in French cuisine by some of the best chefs and restaurateurs in the world, Des Jardins style is also influenced by her Mexican and French-Acadian grandparents who taught her how to cook and gave her a passion for food. Throughout her more than two decades in San Francisco, Des Jardins has continued to focus and evolve her style of cooking as well as her restaurants. Over the course of her successful career she has trained and groomed many chefs and front-of-the-house leaders, many of whom now help operate her growing group of restaurants and others who have gone on to their own successful ventures.
Traci is the culinary advisor to Impossible Foods which launched the Impossible Burger in the summer of 2016. The Impossible Burger is a revolutionary plant based meat, and is now available in dozens of restaurants in the United States with Jardinière being one of the first to offer it.
Traci’s latest project called “School Night” is a weeknight bar located in the Dog Patch neighborhood of San Francisco. She has collaborated with the leadership team of The Pearl, a premier event venue, and Bar Manager extraordinaire, Enrique Sanchez, of Arguello.
A dedicated philanthropist, Traci sat on the board of the local non-profit La Cocina for many years, and has been a longtime supporter of the farm to table movement and sustainability. Known as one of the top female chefs in the country, Des Jardins is a two-time James Beard award-winner and has earned a number of industry accolades throughout her career.
James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year”, 1995
Food & Wine Magazine’s “Best New Chef”, 1995
San Francisco Magazine’s “Chef of the Year”, 1995
Jardinière was one of Esquire Magazine’s “Best New Restaurants”, 1999
James Beard foundation nomination for “Best New Restaurant”, 1999
James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef: Pacific”, 2007
Beat “Iron Chef” Mario Batali on the Food Network show Iron Chef America, 2007
Finalist on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters Season 3, 2011