Cherry-Almond Clafoutis by Belinda Leong of b.Patisserie. (Christina Holmes)

6 Bay Area Lady Chefs Share Their Holiday Faves

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The halls are decked, the tree is trimmed, but the hardest part of hosting remains: You're going to have to cook something!

Set your holiday party apart from the rest by taking a recipe or two from some of the leading ladies of the Bay Area's culinary scene. Here, some of our top women chefs share their holiday favorites with a global spin—think Mexican-inspired stews and Scandinavian sweets.


Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière

(Courtesy of Frankie Frankey)

"Growing up, my family always celebrated Christmas Eve by cooking an incredible Mexican feast. Chile Verde is one of our favorites, it's easy and always a crowd pleaser. I look forward to serving it every year!" -Traci Des Jardins, chef of Jardinière in Hayes Valley and The Commissary and Arguello in the Presidio

Traci's Chile Verde

  • 4 lbs pork butt (shoulder)
  • 2 lbs. tomatillos, husks removed1lb.
  • Anaheim or Poblano chiles (green peppers may be substituted)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • flour salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. Cut the meat into 1-½ inch cubes. Cut the tomatillos into quarters, cut the chilies into ½inch pieces and dice the onions into 1/2 inch pieces. Remove the large stems from the cilantro and chop it roughly.
  2. Lay the meat out onto a tray and and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, sprinkle with flour and toss until coated.
  3. Place a heavy skillet onto the stove over medium high heat, when hot add the oil and frythe pork until golden brown on all sides.
  4. Remove the meat from the pan and add the vegetables, cook over low heat until soft, add the meat, spices and herbs to the pan, cover just to the top the meat with water and bring to a simmer.
  5. Simmer for two hours or until the pork is tender.

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