Positive Customer Experience: True Food Kitchen and Exec Chef Michael Stebner

Kathryn, my girlfriend, loves True Food kitchen and I am a skeptic of anything done by the FOX group especially when it aligns itself to a single philophers idea of eating well, in this case Dr. Weil. I am also a pretty critical person and enjoy critiquing most everything especially eatieries and restaurants.

One issue we have is that we are Vegans and while they do have a number of items listed as Vegan on the menu there are a few things that just seem silly. The first one is that they have no Salads listed as Vegan and the second is that they do not offer Vegan Mayo. The last time we mentioned the Mayo thing our server gave us a reason why they didnt but that we are welcome to bring our own in.

Today has been a fun day so I thought going to True Food would be a good treat for Kathryn and maybe distract me from other events occuring recently. Our server, Chris, has waited on us before and is always very nice. When we mentioned the Soy Mayo thing she offered to go talk to the chef and managers. When she returned the reply was that “at some point we have to draw the line.” To which I explained that by offering Vegan/Soy Mayo they would lower costs, increase shelf life, and even start substituting it with real Mayo without anyone noticing. She thought these were valid enough and again went to talk with the chef and managers. To which Kathryn and I exchanged glances and began eating our soup.

To our surprise our next visitor was none other than Michael Stebner the Executive Chef of the restaurant. We began a 10 minute conversation about their philosophy and methodology for creating the menu. He explained that they are not a health food restaurant but rather a restaurant with a health focus. He also pointed out that they are happy to modify anything on the menu to accomodate a number of eating requirements. This was really cool stuff.

He then went further and talked about his history as a chef and what he has seen work and not work from a practical perspective. This was a real conversation and I appreciate his engagement with us both. At no time was he demeaning to us and he never brushed a point of ours off. While I disagree with the philosophy of their menu I respect their methodology and see that they are interested in doing something more than just sell as much food as possible.

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