A California native of a small, Central Valley agricultural community, Traci Des Jardins has been a part of the San Francisco food community for over 30 years and operated a diverse group of successful, award-winning restaurants. A dedicated philanthropist, she was on the board of local non-profit La Cocina for over 10 years and continues to support the La Cocina community at every chance. She has worked closely with World Central Kitchen, Jose Andres’ action-based, non-profit, committed to providing meals in the wake of a natural disaster, specifically those that devastated Sonoma and Napa Counties and continually supports No Kid Hungry and Share Our Strength.
Des Jardins is a two-time James Beard award-winner and has earned numerous industry accolades throughout her career. She continues her work with the James Beard Foundation, serving as a committee member and supporting the foundation’s Taste America efforts. She serves as Culinary Advisor to Impossible Foods, assisting with their culinary development, public and private events, and often serves as a spokesperson for the brand. She was among the first chefs to put Impossible Foods’ Impossible Burger on her menu and plays a pivotal role in the brand’s new product launches. She worked closely with the Impossible Foods team to develop the cookbook, Impossible™: The Cookbook.
Classically trained in French cuisine by some of the best chefs and restaurateurs in the world, Des Jardins’ style draws influence from her Mexican and French-Acadian grandparents who taught her how to cook and inspired her passion for food. Prior to coming to San Francisco in 1991, she worked in some of the most highly acclaimed kitchens in Los Angeles, France, and New York City. In 1997, Des Jardins opened her beloved San Francisco restaurant, Jardinière. A destination restaurant and staple in the community, Jardinière showcased Des Jardins commitment to supporting local farms and ranches. After 21 years, she made the decision to close her flagship restaurant, but the legacy continues to live on as countless chefs, sommeliers and front-of-house leaders were groomed under her tutelage.
From 2014 to 2020, in partnership with Bon Appetit Management Company and The Presidio Trust, Des Jardins operated numerous concepts throughout The Presidio National Park. These included the Commissary, which served Spanish-American cuisine and Arguello, which drew inspiration from Des Jardins’ heritage and extensive travel throughout Mexico. Currently, Des Jardins operates Public House in Oracle Park, home of the SF Giants, serving classic American fare with a large selection of craft beer.
When she isn’t cooking, Des Jardins travels the world leading culinary tours through Oaxaca, fly fishing in Alaska or cycling through Sicily. She has worked closely with the Misool Foundation, located in Raja Ampat, Indonesia working towards conserving the ocean reefs and creating a sustainable tourism model. Dedicated to the outdoors, she spends much of the winter months skiing the slopes of North Lake Tahoe and much of her summers waterskiing with her family on Shaver Lake in the Central Sierra.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award