Wellness Profile: True Food Kitchen
For our last business profile of the Among the Colors Wellness Challenge, I had the pleasure of interviewing True Food Kitchen's Chef Arik. True Food Kitchen has locations around the country including a beautiful, and always bustling location in Denver's Cherry Creek. I have been in love with this restuarant ever since it opened a few years back. Fresh juices, salads and clean conscious meats... I fell hard, quick. The concept behind the restaurant is anti-inflammatory foods that are delicious, which is also my same food philosophy and the way I cook for Among the Colors. I also love that I can walk into the restuarant in my yoga pants post-yoga from my favorite Friday nooner class and order a huge kale salad with the protein of my choice. The wait-staff all wear yoga clothes, and although I try to not just walk around in my yoga pants ALL week long, I definitely don't mind the yoga pant friendly vibe at this location. But my favorite thing about this place is the food, and the fact that I can eat so many different things on the menu. My favorites? Their seasonal salads, the curry veggies with sweet potato hash instead of rice, and the hummus and veggies. Their vegetable platter is a work of art into itself. The menu challenges seasonally, so the salads are fresh and delicious. They also make deliciously dangerous gluten free pizzas.
True Food Kitchen also has locations in Santa Monica, San Diego, Scottsdale, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Fairfax, El Segundo, and Dallas. For more information, follow them in instagram, Facebook, twitter, and Pinterest.
The Among the Colors interview with Chef Arik of True Food Kitchen.
Please tell me a little bit about your background and what led you to become a chef.
I grew up in a household where food was at the center of family life. And growing up in NYC exposed me to a whole world of food, simple and dressed up, in every imaginable cuisine. I feel in love with food early and fell hard. I started cooking at the stove at age four.
What inspired you to get into the anti-inflammation food movement?
I’m a big believer in matters of planetary health and sustainable practices, and my wife (who teaches yoga) helped show me the importance of making better food choices for vitality and health. I’ve evolved to believe the two are deeply linked, and it turns out that the foods that are best for the body and the environment happen to be anti-inflammatory too. A more perfect union.
Do you have any history with food allergies yourself?
My five year old son has had issues with sensitivities which have manifested in a body-covering eczema. It was a nightmare for him and for us as we sought help in dealing with it. We went to an allergist who pricked him with dozens of needles and then told us he was fine, a torture for our little guy. After searching for a different approach we found a naturopath who asked us first about his diet, then made a few recommendations for foods to eliminate from his diet for a trial period to distress his system. We saw results in two days! Now he eats whatever he wants and is fine. It’s made me a true believer in the integrative approach.
Beyond that, I’m repulsed by anything with bananas in it, but that’s not really an allergy…
What is your favorite thing about working for a conscious company like True Food Kitchen?
There’s a ton of everyday integrity in everything we do. I love that we walk our talk and make choices daily that benefit our guests AND do better in terms of our environmental impacts and the health of our guests. I’m excited to head into work every day- It really never feels like work. My wife is usually calling me late in the day to ask when I’m coming home.
What is your favorite clean eating meal?
I’m addicted to our kale salad, and love it with some grilled sustainable steelhead (an ocean-going trout) and some roasted vegetables in season.
What is your favorite cheat meal?
Bacon cheeseburger with an egg on it. If I’m going, I’m going big.
What does wellness mean to you?
It’s a path that integrates good eating and cooking with lots of family time, hard work and having fun while doing it all. If it all happens with a consciousness of impacts to the world around me and promotes that same sensibility in others, then I am well.
Founded by Denver-based artist Laura Krudener, Among the Colors is a lifestyle and community project focused on bringing color and creativity into your life. Featuring original content, collaborations with artists and makers, and guides to inspired living, Among the Colors offers passion and thoughtfulness to help enrich and inspire the art of everyday life. Through artist interviews, fashion profiles on creative women, and food and wellness guides, Among the Colors will curate a Contemporary Bohemian style authentic to it’s roots in Denver, Colorado.