"My first word was 'eat'," says Traci Des Jardins with a smile. 
By the time she was four years old, this future chef was rolling tortillas 
with her grandmother and supervising chocolate chip cookie-making with
her cousins. By the age of 17, she knew that she wanted to be a
professional cook, and she started in Joachim Splichal's 7th Street 
Bistro in Los Angeles. Under his mentorship, she grew into a seasoned 
cook. Her extensive training in France included an apprenticeship at 
the world-famous Troisgros in Roanne. Returning to a sous-chef position 
at Montrachet in New York, she met owner Drew Nieporent and started a 
close working relationship that would one day culminate in the opening
of Rubicon.
     In 1989, she returned to California to open Patina, in Los Angeles, 
as chef de cuisine. After two years, she moved north and took behind-
the-scenes jobs in San Francisco at Aqua with George Morrone and at Elka 
with Elka Gilmore (both 1994 Rising Stars).
     Des Jardins has bloomed at Rubicon, creating a modern, accessible 
cuisine firmly grounded in French tradition, and incorporating her 
passion for fresh flavors and sound combinations of food that honor the 
integrity of the ingredients. Rubicon's celebrity investors are Robert 
DeNiro, Francis Ford Coppola and Robin Williams, and it is part of 
Myriad Restaurant Group, which operates New York's Tribeca Grill, 
Montrachet and Nobu under managing partner, Drew Nieporent.


                     *  Exported from  MasterCook  *

            Artichoke Salad of Summer Tomatoes & Spring Beans

Recipe By     : Traci Des Jardins --Rubicon, SF, Calif.
Serving Size  : 4    Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : 
  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
   1      gallon        water
     1/4  cup           flour
     1/4  cup           lemon juice -- plus
                        some for rubbing artichokes
   2      tablespoons   salt
   6      large         artichokes
   2      large         beefsteak tomatoes -- blanched and peeled
   3      large         shallot -- finely diced
   6      tablespoons   extra-virgin olive oil
   2      tablespoons   balsamic vinegar
   1      bunch         basil -- cut into chiffonade
     1/2  pound         wax beans (yellow) -- cleaned and blanched
     1/2  pound         Romano beans -- cleaned and blanched
     1/2  pound         haricots verts -- cleaned and blanched
   1      tablespoon    Dijon mustard
   1      pint          cherry tomatoes -- halved
                        salt and pepper -- to taste
                        baby greens -- for garnish

     In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Make a blanc by stirring 
in flour, lemon juice and salt until dissolved. Trim artichokes down to 
bottoms by cutting off stems and snapping off leaves. Remove chokes. 
Rub cut areas of artichoke bottoms with lemon juice. Add artichokes to 
blanc and cook until tender.
     Slice beefsteak tomatoes into eight to twelve 1/8" thick slices. 
Cut scraps into julienne and reserve. Marinate tomato slices in 2 
tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar, 
shallots, and half of the basil chiffonade. Season to taste with salt 
and pepper. Blanch the remaining basil and puree in a blender with 2 
tablespoons of olive oil. Reserve cold.
     Make a mustard vinaigrette by blending mustard with 2 tablespoons
of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with 
salt and pepper.
     Split wax beans lengthwise. Cut Romano beans on the bias into long 
strips. Toss these beans and haricots verts  with cherry tomatoes, 
reserved tomato julienne, pureed basil and Dijon vinaigrette. Season to 
taste with salt and pepper.
     TO SERVE: Place 2 slices of beefsteak tomato on each plate. Place
a few leaves of baby greens around and an artichoke bottom on top. 
Place spring bean salad on top of artichoke.

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