This week’s featured chef on Chef’s Story is Traci Des Jardins, Chef/Owner of JardiniÃ¨re, Mijita Cocina Mexicana â€¨and Chef/Partner of Public House.
Before opening JardiniÃ¨re 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. 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 personnel, many of whom now help operate her growing group of restaurants.
In 2004 Des Jardins opened Mijita Cocina Mexicana in the San Francisco Ferry Building and in 2010 the second location at AT&T Park, combining the best of Bay Area seasonal and local ingredients with the traditional Mexican ï¬‚avors of her youth. Adjacent to Mijita and located at AT&T Park, home of the 2010 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants, Traci’s Public House is a sports bar serving California influenced pub food.
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. Des Jardins sits on the board of La Cocina, a San Francisco based non-profit business incubator and on the advisory board of Bocuse d’Or USA, joining fellow chefs in the quest to elevate culinary excellence in the United States. She is a deeply committed activist and philanthropist working with hunger-relief organizations such as Share Our Strength, Citymeals On-Wheels and other non-profits such as amfAR. This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.
“If you’re going to own your own business you better understand what a P&L is. You can lose a lot of money very quickly if you’re not paying attention.” [33:00]
“I see lots of young women who come through my kitchen and when they decide to have a child never come back to the kitchen. Motherhood is enthralling and having a child is tough competition for wanting to come back and work. It’s a tough dilemma for women in general.” [44:00]
–Traci Des Jardins on Chef’s Story