It’s no secret there’s been a notable evolution in consumer demand for healthier purchases and experiences. In particular, organic and gluten-free choices are increasing in visibility. Not wanting to miss out, more restaurants are specializing in the farm-to-table movement and other healthier menu options.
At True Food Kitchen, located in Newport Beach, Executive Chef Chris Polley has had a front-row seat observing the desire and push for more healthful eating. While commandeering the Fashion Island location, Polley serves up creative dishes that keep healthy food seekers consistently returning.
At True Food Kitchen, located in Newport Beach, Executive Chef Chris Polley has had a front-row seat observing the desire and push for more healthful eating.
Hailing from Long Island, NY, he was practically born in the kitchen of his parents’ waterfront American-style restaurant. At age 13, serving the usual entry-level “tenure” of dishwasher, Polley moved on to more challenging responsibilities. Cooking became the favored role for him, and soon a passion grew, his career destination set.
The restaurant was frequented by members of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), partly because of the oceanside accessibility but also because of the camaraderie and respect that was “served up” by restaurant staff in recognition of their patriotic service. Witnessing this over time, Polley felt a shift emerging in his priorities.
“Growing up in a coastal community embedded a certain level of trust and respect in the USCG for me,” Polley says. “I knew pretty early that I would at least try and get into the service.”
He joined shortly after, with the USCG bringing Polley to San Diego. After his maritime position ended, he enrolled at San Diego State University, eventually earning a degree in psychology. His original culinary career goals seemed to be disappearing and could have stopped there, but fortune changed things.
Polley hadn’t wholly detached from the cooking world he knew best. By day he attended classes; by night, he worked catering jobs. He became acquainted with chefs and the growing celebrity chef trends in San Diego. Innovative restaurants were opening, further piquing his curiosity and firing-up old passions to be a player in that environment.
Newly inspired, Polley was more decisive than ever to pursue his culinary career. He started out at boutique hotel restaurants, opened a high-end restaurant in Del Mar, worked with in-demand chefs, experimented with new ingredients, and learned new skills along the way.
As an Executive Chef, Polley finds it deeply gratifying to be creating the restaurant’s nutrient-rich meals.
“True Food Kitchen is not just a place of work or a restaurant for me,” says Polley. “Seeing the same guests come in five or six times a week in the quest for eating healthy is something I have never seen before. We are way ahead of trends, and I foresee the world eating healthier and caring more about what they put into their bodies. True Food Kitchen seems well ahead of the trends and competition in that respect.”
Chef Polley will be bringing these innovative tastes of True Food Kitchen to the upcoming Table for 10 fundraising event. In their third year of participation, Polley and his team will be creating dishes while mingling with his table of diners. To buy a sponsorship or individual tickets, visit TableForTen.org.
Amid the glow of candlelight and the sweet scent of red roses, dozens of the finest chefs assemble at gilded tables for a feast of epic proportions. Glasses brim with nuanced wines, laughter echoes, and chefs ready their teams for six-courses of culinary whimsy. This is Table for Ten on March 11, 2018, at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa. Benefitting charities: The Teen Project and Vocational Visions. TableForTen.org