America's Classics: Traci Des Jardins on San Francisco's Swan Oyster Depot

Photo by James Collier

Swan Oyster Depot
San Francisco


This is my go-to place for cracked crab and oysters. It oozes San Francisco history and you can see it in the generational forces working here and the pictures on the wall. I’ve been eating here for more than twenty years, and it's a must-stop when in SF for a light lunch of local favorites: Dungeness crab, Tomales Bay oysters, and a bright and clean Sauvignon Blanc to go with.


—Traci Des Jardins, JBF Award Winner




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Traci Des Jardins and Matt Jennings Team Up for Taste America® Boston

Matt Jennings's Vegetables and Fruits with Coppa, Smoked Pork Fat and Malt Vinegar Emulsion


“I started baking when I was three years old—it just grabbed me. Cooking has always been my thing,” said JBF Award winner and Taste America All-Star Traci Des Jardins during the Boston leg of our ten-city tour. The lavish two-day event included a collaborative cocktail reception and dinner, as well as cooking demos and artisanal tastings.


The jam-packed affair was one of Boston’s hottest events this Columbus Day Weekend. Guests gathered at the lovely Langham hotel, where many of the city’s top culinary talent showcased their skills and local ingredients. The evening kicked off with a tasting reception featuring bites from JBF Award winners Tim Cushman of o ya, Tony Maws of Craigie on Main, and Ana Sortun of... Read more >

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James Beard Foundation's Taste America® Preview: Boston


The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® national epicurean tour continues this weekend with two days of star-studded events in Boston, featuring Taste America All-Star and JBF Award winner Traci Des Jardins and Local Star Matt Jennings. Friday night kicks off with a tasting reception from some of Boston's finest, followed by an exclusive four-course dinner prepared by Des Jardins and Jennings. On Saturday the action moves to Sur La Table for cooking demos and book signings from Des Jardins and lauded chef and fellow JBF Award winner Tony Maws, along with free tastings from local vendor Victoria Gourmet.


For tickets and more information about the chefs and vendors appearing, check out ... Read more >

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Q&A with Taste America All-Star Traci Des Jardins


As we travel across the country for Taste America, our national epicurean tour, it’s easy to see the vast variety of cultural culinary ingredients that are thrown into the melting pot of American cuisine. At times, these myriad heritages can even be brought together in one chef, as in the case of Taste America All-Star Traci Des Jardins. Through her empire of San Francisco hot spots, Des Jardins crisscrosses the globe, infusing French, Spanish, Mexican, and more into the vibrant raw ingredients of her home state of California. Des Jardins will bring her internationally flavored cuisine to the East Coast for Taste America: Boston, where she'll team up with Local Star Matt Jennings for a weekend of exciting events. Read on for Des Jardins’s take on food trends that have overstayed their welcome, changes that are needed in the restaurant industry, and what food mecca she... Read more >

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Gala Chef Q & A: JBF Award Winner Traci Des Jardins

JBF Award winner Traci Des Jardins


JBF Award Winner Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière, San Francisco


What’s your go-to guilty-pleasure food?

Tortilla chips and salsa.


Describe the last great meal you ate.

I had a great bite the other night: griddled rice cake with uni in soy butter and watercress. It was divine—texture, flavors, everything.


What’s the dish you’re most proud of?

I don’t have favorites—that would be like saying you have a favorite child.


What’s your favorite movie snack?

Popcorn with real butter.


What’s your earliest food memory?

Eating oatmeal in my high chair.


What do you eat for breakfast?

Cottage cheese with coarse salt, pepper, and olive oil.


What’s your favorite healthy food?

Lacinato kale.


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MemorEATS: Traci Des Jardins

"'Eat' was my first word. I used to sit in my high chair every morning with great anticipation, waiting to be served my oatmeal with butter and brown sugar while banging my spoon on the tray and chanting 'Eat, eat, eat!'" –JBF Award Winner Traci Des Jardins

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JBF Kitchen Cam