By Susannah Black
The restaurant’s concept is simple: “farm-to-table, organic, local foods,” says Sam Fox, owner of True Food Kitchen. It’s the same ethos which has been driving the modern mom-and-pop shops and now is showing up in corporate America.
The East Coast’s first True Food Kitchen, based on the Mediterranean-leaning anti-inflammatory diet developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, opens today in Merrifield‘s Mosaic District.
Weil, a renowned doctor, professor and author, collaborates with Fox to create this nutritional menu. With Weil’s assistance, Fox says “all of the food on the menu has been thought out about how it reacts in your body.” For example, Fox says “a lot of our dishes are gluten-free or dairy-free” and added are “special spices and herbs to reduce inflammation,” as “Andy believes that inflammation is the root of a lot of diseases.”
Also behind the menu, Michael Obermeier, Fairfax’s True Food Kitchen’s executive chef, relocated to the D.C. area from West Palm Beach after becoming connected with Fox: “Fox found me … I was looking to broaden my horizons and when this opportunity came my way, I kind of jumped on it.” Obermeier reiterates Dr. Weil’s and Fox’s dedication to a menu with nutritionally high standards. “Everything that we do is supposed to be natural … introduce nothing but good products.”
True Food Kitchen will source locally when possible, getting many fall ingredients like cauliflower, broccoli and squash from Northern Virginia farms in such dishes as the Autumn Ingredient Salad with roasted butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green onions, cannellini beans, mulberries and homemade horseradish vinaigrette. Fox’s personal favorites are the red chili shrimp with sesame noodles, spinach, gai lan and shiitake mushrooms and edamame dumplings with daikon radish and white truffle oil.
With True Food Kitchen restaurants in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia and Texas—and plans for locations in Washington, D.C. and Bethesda, Maryland—Fox still refuses to think of his company as corporate. “When I hear people call us a chain, I kind of cringe … We’re really leading the trend in healthy, accessible dining,” Fox says. / True Food Kitchen, 2910 District Ave., Fairfax.