Presidio of San Francisco (September 16, 2013) – To support its growing initiative to welcome and serve park visitors, the Presidio Trust is partnering with celebrated Bay Area chef Traci Des Jardins to create a Presidio food program.
“The Presidio Trust is rolling out the welcome mat,” said Craig Middleton, Trust Executive Director. “We’re creating exceptional park experiences, including healthy and accessible dining options. As our community grows and more programs and destinations come alive, we want to support our visitors with delicious, quality food options. We are fortunate to work with a partner who shares our values of community and sustainability.”
The character of the new food program will be driven by sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients and influenced by Chef Des Jardins’ signature style. She will be supported in the program by Bon Appétit Management Company, the Palo Alto–based food service pioneer.
“I am thrilled to work with the Presidio Trust and Bon Appétit on creating food destinations for park visitors and the Bay Area community,” said Des Jardins. “It is such a unique opportunity to be part of this unparalleled and stunningly beautiful destination which is at the heart of San Francisco.”
The new Presidio food program has several components. Building 101, one of the iconic Montgomery Street Barracks located on the Main Post, will be home to a 112-seat new park restaurant featuring California cuisine with Spanish influences. During breakfast and lunch the restaurant will be a casual spot to pick up espresso and take-out meals. At lunch visitors can also enjoy a dine-in menu. In the evening, the space transforms into a lively full-service bistro built around an open kitchen. The friendly atmosphere will welcome locals and visitors alike.
The restaurant will feature a mercantile and larder retail shop offering handcrafted, artisan local foods: batch jams, freshly made breads, local cheeses, house cured charcuterie, and curated groceries. Prepared meals can be ordered ahead to take with to enjoy at one of the Presidio's incredible picnic locations. A series of culinary classes will explore a wide range of topics, including wine appreciation and healthy food preparation. The restaurant is targeted to open around Valentine’s Day 2014.
Celebrations and meetings held in the Presidio’s half dozen event venues will now be supported by a catering program offering options from box lunches to elegant fine dining experiences. Presidio venues such as the Golden Gate Club, the Presidio Chapel, and the Log Cabin host hundreds of gatherings each year. Event sponsors will now have access to Traci Des Jardins catering that can be arranged in tandem with their venue rental. The catering program will be launched in December 2013, in time for the holiday event season.
Well-known San Francisco chef Robbie Lewis will head up the kitchen of the new food program. Lewis has been an associate and protégé of Chef Des Jardins for over 20 years. After having spent the past few years familiarizing himself with Bon Appétit operations, Lewis is looking forward to working with Traci once again and to be a part of her vision for the restaurant and catering operations. “I could not ask for a better person to be the day-to-day operator of this restaurant. Robbie is a tremendous culinary talent, and no one is closer to my food vision,” said Des Jardins.
The Presidio community includes 3,000 residents, 4,000 people who work in the park, and thousands of visitors. The Trust and its partners host a robust calendar of events – from concerts to exhibits to festivals – that attract a growing population of visitors. In 2014, the Trust anticipates that its program offerings will nearly double, and that the historic Officers’ Club, the traditional social center of the Presidio, will reopen.
“Enjoying a meal or picnic with family and friends is a great way to enjoy the park. We are excited to serve our internal community and our many guests with this new food program,” said Middleton.
To book an event at the Presidio, call (415) 561-5444.
The Presidio Trust, a federal agency, is an innovation in the management of a treasured American place. The Trust was created to save the Presidio and transform it for a new national purpose. The Trust's vision is that the Presidio will be forever a public place: vital to the Bay Area, important to all Americans, and recognized for achieving broad benefits for the nation. Today, the Presidio welcomes visitors, is home to a vibrant community of residents and tenants, and inspires greater good through programs that draw on its history and natural resources. The Presidio Trust serves the public with events, lodging, venues, and recreational opportunities. To learn more, visit www.presidio.gov.
Chef Traci Des Jardins has been part of the San Francisco food community for 22 years and has opened many great San Francisco restaurants. She currently runs a diverse group of restaurants, from her iconic French-California Jardinière, to her beloved Mijita in the Ferry Building serving casual Mexican food and Public House in AT&T Park which serves classic American fare. She is a dedicated philanthropist, sitting on the board of the local non-profit La Cocina, and has been a longtime supporter of the farm to table movement and sustainability. She has won numerous awards from national and local magazines and the James Beard Foundation.
Bon Appétit Management Company is an on-site restaurant company offering full food-service management to corporations, universities, and specialty venues in 32 states, including cafés for Google, Johns Hopkins University, and the Exploratorium. All Bon Appétit food is cooked from scratch, including sauces, stocks, and soups. A pioneer in environmentally-sound sourcing policies, Bon Appétit has developed programs addressing local purchasing, the overuse of antibiotics, sustainable seafood, the food and climate change connection, humanely raised meat and eggs, and farmworker welfare. It has received numerous awards for its work from organizations including the James Beard Foundation, Chefs Collaborative, Natural Resources Defense Council, Seafood Choices Alliance, and the Humane Society of the United States. To learn more, visit www.bamco.com.