"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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