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.
White Châteauneuf-du-Pape with Liberty Farms duck and nectarines.
Favorite don’t-tell-anyone junk food?
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.