Top Chef Masters contestant, Oprah go-to guy, and recently married man Art Smith is teaming with a couple of former McDonald’s executives to launch LYFE (Love Your Food Everyday) Kitchen, the first locations of which will be in Northern California, starting with Palo Alto in late summer. The pitch is healthy fast-casual, and according to the Chicago Tribune, the team hopes this concept “will unlock the recipe to successfully selling healthy food to the masses.” Smith — who is known for fatty comfort food but who himself lost almost 100 pounds last year through a healthy diet — is creating a menu on which all items will be under 600 calories, with things like oven-baked sweet potato fries and a Niman ranch burger with agave ketchup and pickles. His partners are planning as many as 250 locations for the chain across the nation, with a feel-good ethos kind of like Panera, and with “philanthropy as a core principle.” We just wish we could talk to them about that acronym. Update: Smith and co. will be joined by the guy who recently cooked vegan meals for Oprah, Tal Ronnen.
Lyfe Kitchen to enter restaurant mix with healthy eating at its core [Chicago Tribune]