At the table with Traci Des Jardins

The celebrated restaurateur talks about being an Iron Chef competitor, her favorite cocktail, and cooking for kids

Traci Des Jardins

Traci Des Jardins at her home in San Francisco's Noe Valley.

David Fenton

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Winning Iron Chef America on Food Network:

It's competitive cooking ― very difficult, but it was fun. I never went in anticipating that I could win. This month I'm doing The Next Iron Chef, but I'm not supposed to reveal anything about it.

Her San Francisco restaurants:

Jardinière is 10 years old this year, and we're refreshing it. We're putting in a lounge ― we wanted an elegant bar. Cocktails have come back in a big way. Then I have Mijita, and I help with Acme Chophouse down at AT&T Park. I'm glad Barry Bonds finally put one away.

Favorite cocktail:

I drink margaritas more than anything else. I really do like tequila. I'm partial to El Tesoro Blanco.

On growing up in California's San Joaquin Valley:

I'm from Firebaugh. My father's a farmer; he grew cotton, beets, and rice.

 

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