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Oprah Invests in True Foods; a new unit is planned for Nashville

 True Food Kitchen

Oprah Winfrey has made an unspecified — but highly publicized — investment in True Food Kitchen, a restaurant chain that currently has 23 locations in 10 states.

The restaurant plans to double its unit count over the next three years, CEO Christine Barone told Nation’s Restaurant News. This year, it will open restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee, and Jacksonville, Florida.

Winfrey will receive a seat on the company’s board of directors. True Food’s majority investor will remain Centerbridge Partners, which will still be its controlling shareholder, Crain’s Chicago Business reports.

Centerbridge is a private-equity firm with a diversified portfolio. In 2012, the firm acquired the P.F. Chang’s restaurant chain, which is now reportedly attracting potential buyers. True Food’s menu reflects the thinking of celebrity doctor Andrew Weil, who opened the first of the restaurants in 2008 in Phoenix, along with Sam Fox, head of Fox Restaurant Concepts.

True Food’s menu is based on Weil’s “anti-inflammatory food pyramid” and features dishes like quinoa burgers, spaghetti squash casserole, kale guacamole and tacos made with grilled fish or grass-fed steak.  “When I first dined at True Food Kitchen, I was so impressed with the team’s passion for healthy eating and, of course, the delicious food, that I knew I wanted to be part of the company’s future,” Winfrey said in a statement.

Read more at: Bisnow