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Cookbook Review: True Food by Andrew Weil, Sam Fox & Michael Stebner
Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure; the tagline of True Food.
Dr. Andrew Weil, restaurateur Sam Fox and Executive Chef Michael Stebner have teamed to produce True Food cookbook, based on recipes from their True Food restaurants. On the cover of the book, the authors claim that True Food is "America's Healthiest Restaurant". Based on many of the recipes in the book, this claim may well be true.They include Immunity Soup, Fava Bean Bruschetta, Fettuccine with Kale Pesto, Coconut-Black Rice Pudding and Acai Mojito.
The book is broken down in the traditional way, with chapters covering breakfast, appetizers, salads, soups, entrees, desserts, drinks and others. There are 125 recipes in all, interspersed with many colorful photographs. Several essays are spread out through the book, written by Weil and Stebner. They include True Whole Grains, Avoiding Sugar, Fat and Salt Crutches, Proper Portions and a summary of the Anti-Inflammatory Diet, designed by Dr. Weil.
The book begins with an entertaining and humorous conversation between the three gentlemen. They explain how they conceptualized their ideas and began True Food. The first location was opened in Phoenix by Dr. Weil and Mr. Fox, with classically-trained Chef Stebner learning the "Weil-way" and developing the recipes. Their mission was to provide dishes that were delicious but would also promote their diner's well-being. The men now own six locations around the country.
Dr. Weil is a bestselling author, with releases such as The Healthy Kitchen, Healthy Aging, Spontaneous Happiness and The Natural Mind. He is vegetarian, but does consume fish, as fish is included in the anti-inflammatory diet. He opened the first restaurant in 2008 at the age of 66, and is still going strong.
True Food is one of the best cookbooks released over the past year. The recipes are very user-friendly. Some of the ingredients, such as sea buckthorn, acai berries and spelt flour may be hard to source in smaller markets, but alternatives and online shopping guides are available. The essays are very informative and well-written and the photographs are attractive and enticing. Do yourself and your health a favor and add this great book to your shopping list.