Dr. Andrew Weil — True Food Kitchen
“I hope the people who eat here will be inspired to make some of these dishes at home and take some of the basic principles away...”

Dr. Andrew Weil is known around the world for his work in preventive health, nutrition, and alternative plant-based medicine. The Harvard trained physician has long been interested in the role food plays in our health outcomes. In addition to publishing several books on the topic, including the most recent Fast Food, Good Food, his deep-seated interest in plants and botany began as a child.

"I grew up in a row house in Philadelphia," Dr. Weil tells us. A decendent of Ukrainian and Russian Jewish immigrants, who had a centuries-old connection to gardening and growing their own fruits and vegetables, Dr. Weil developed a green thumb when he was a young boy. The neighborhood also exposed him to the basic, fresh, and simple cooking styles of old world Italy, introducing him to flavors which stayed with him for years, inspiring his own development as a home cook.

Decades later, Dr. Weil connected with renowned restaurater Sam Fox and the two began discussing the dire state of nutrition in America. From food deserts, to corn subsidies, to the abundance of fast food, it had become widely accepted in the public health community that Americans were being poisoned with inflamatory and over-processed foods. Dr. Weil, a pescatarian who himself was frustrated with the lack of healthy, flavorful options when dining out, decided to join forces with Sam Fox to open a new restaurant concept that truly served healthy food, without discarding flavor in the process. And so, True Food Kitchen was born.

Listen to the full episode to hear our interview with Dr. Weil. Be sure to subscribe to Menu Stories to get more episodes like this one delivered to your inbox.

Dr. Andrew Weil stands in front of True Food Kitchen's new Walnut Creek location  Bright light and green plants decorate the lively space in Walnut Creek's True Food Kitchen, the chain's newest location, along with Palo Alto.
Fresh juice is blended to order at True Food Kitchen, where sodas are not allowed.  Drinks like the Ginger Margarita (ginger honey, lemon, elderflower liqueur, añejo tequila) and the Autumn Orchard Sour (muddled pear, juiced apple, lemon zest, mulled brandy) are not your average restaurant cocktails.
Dr. Andrew Weil insisted that soda be cut from the menu. The bar serves an array of freshly prepared juices and other refreshing drinks low in sugar.  Mushrooms are softened with broth at Walnut Creek's True Food Kitchen
Dr. Weil was inspired by Italian cuisine growing up in Philadelphia, given its balanced Mediterranean ingredients  The True Food Kitchen team prepares for lunch service
Host and Menu Stories producer Rebecca Goberstein interviews Dr. Andrew Weil at Walnut Creek's True Food Kitchen  A spinach dish is prepared for lunch service The menu at True Food Kitchen features a full offering of vegan, pescatarian, and gluten free options, all with an anti-inflamatory diet in mind.
An excellent pumpkin pie doesn't have to include any pumpkin at all. This piece of pie is created with butternut squash, vegan graham cracker crust, and coconut cream to top it all off. Dr. Andrew Weil enjoys a freshly prepared squash autumn pie, topped with coconut cream
Quality staff are integral to the success of True Food Kitchen as it continues to grow and expand. Hear more about Dr. Weil's perspective on growing True Food Kitchen in our interview.  Bright, refreshing drinks made from fresh fruits and vegetables complement the nutritious menu at True Food Kitchen. The menu ranges from Orange Rooibos Tea (orange, yerba mate, steeped rooibos tea, astragalus) to Kale Aid (kale, ginger, apple, celery, cucumber) to Honey Bee Ginger Beer (juiced ginger, clover honey, lime, nettle oil), a specialty kombucha, and light cocktails. The Inside Out Quinoa Burger (hummus, tzatziki, tomato, cucumber, red onion, avocado, feta) with a side of Organic Tuscan Kale salad (lemon, garlic, grana padano, breadcrumb). The Wild Caught Albacore Tataki (avocado, jalapeño, toasted sesame, yuzu ponzu) is fresh and tart. The savory Chioggia Beet Bruschetta is surprisingly vegan (vegan almond ricotta, amaranth, arugula, pomegranate molasses) True Food Kitchen's two northern California locations include Walnut Creek and Palo Alto, with more coming soon. Dr. Weil grew up gradening in his childhood home in Philadelphia, something he learned from his mother, who learned it from her mother.

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