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Flavor Profile: Traci Des Jardins of Jardinière and Mijita

Traci Des Jardins

News flash: After the September remodel of her Civic Center institution, Des Jardins prepares to open a Spanish-inflected restaurant, mercantile, and larder shop in the Presidio this February. Plus, look for a new Mexican spot later in 2014.

Here, seven questions for Traci Des Jardins:

When did you first know you wanted to be a chef?

When I was 17 and dropped out of college, I thought I would become a cook so I could support myself as a ski bum. Shortly thereafter, I landed in a very serious French kitchen [LA’s now-defunct 7th Street Bistro]. That’s when I knew I really wanted to be a chef.

Who are your heroes?

Diana Kennedy [known as the Julia Child of Mexican cuisine].

Where do you go for a good drink, and what do you order?

Bar Agricole. Anything with tequila blanco—bartender’s choice.

Favorite pairing?

White Châteauneuf-du-Pape with Liberty Farms duck and nectarines.

Favorite don’t-tell-anyone junk food?

Commercial chicharrones.

Proudest professional moment?

The James Beard Rising Star Chef award.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Away from my smartphone.

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This article was published in 7x7's November issue. Click here to subscribe.