SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 27, 2012) - James Beard Award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins today announced she is now the sole managing owner of Jardinière restaurant after buying out her business partner in Jardinière of 16 years, Pat Kuleto. As Jardinière celebrates the rare milestone of a restaurant surviving and thriving for a decade-and-a-half in San Francisco, Des Jardins plans to evolve her flagship eatery and continue to lead the Bay Area culinary scene by running innovative establishments that appeal to a wide variety of restaurant goers.
Fifteen years ago, Kuleto and Des Jardins together opened up Jardinière in the former Kimball's West jazz venue across from Davies Symphony Hall and The War Memorial Opera House near San Francisco's City Hall. Des Jardins and Kuleto saw the potential in the transitional neighborhood, which has since become home to a selection of trendy stores and restaurants and one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city.
"The past 16 years working with Pat have been a fabulous learning experience for me. I started out as just a chef, and now I am a business person," said Des Jardins. "I'm very excited for Pat as he determines his next steps and I know he will go on to create other great restaurants."
Kuleto, also a James Beard award-winner, has been a pioneer in the restaurant business on a local and global level. With a career spanning more than 40 years and 200 restaurants, Kuleto's passion for design and creating restaurants continues to flourish. Some of his most highly acclaimed restaurants include San Francisco's Fog City Diner, Postrio, Farallon, Boulevard, Waterbar, Epic Roasthouse, and Kuleto Estate Winery in Napa Valley.
As part of his future plans, the newly wed Kuleto is enjoying his family life with his wife Jennifer, and son Daniel, as well as completing an expansion of his waterfront restaurant Epic Roasthouse. He continues to be "on the prowl" for new and exciting projects. Kuleto says of Jardinière and Des Jardins: "I know I am leaving Jardinière in the capable hands of Traci and that it will continue to flourish. I had an amazing 15 years of involvement with Jardinière and wish all good things for its continuing success."
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, including:
- James Beard Foundation's "Rising Star Chef of the Year," 1995
- Food & Wine Magazine's "Best New Chef," 1995
- San Francisco Magazine's "Chef of the Year," 1995
- Jardinière won Esquire Magazine's "Best New Restaurant," 1999
- James Beard foundation nomination for "Best New Restaurant," 1999
- James Beard Foundation Award for "Best Chef: Pacific," 2007
- Beat "Iron Chef" Mario Batali on the Food Network show Iron Chef America, 2007
- Finalist on Bravo's Top Chef Masters 3, 2011
Before opening Jardinière in San Francisco in 1997, Des Jardins worked in some of the ﬁnest kitchens in Los Angeles, France, and New York City. 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. Classically trained in French cuisine by some of the best chefs and restaurateurs in the world, Des Jardins has refined and honed her skills in cooking and in business over her many years in the industry. 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.
A native of Northern California, Des Jardins has four restaurants in San Francisco, including Jardinière, Mijita Cocina Mexicana (two locations) and Public House. In Lake Tahoe, she operates Manzanita, a destination restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Highlands at Northstar. Beyond the kitchen, 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.