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True Review, Volume I

In Brief:

In which our new magazine tells a couple of stories, releases at least one award-winning documentary, hangs out with some legendary sportsmen, and cooks up one feast after another.

We have many people to thank for our 2015 run – see down below.


Our mission is to celebrate innovation and expertise, and nothing seemed to embody the True belief system better than Tom Brady’s pancake recipe. Most know Brady as the New England Patriots’ star quarterback. He is also a pancake perfectionist, and he gave us his exclusive recipe. The pancakes worked their magic – Brady threw four touchdowns against the Seahawks, winning Super Bowl MVP in the process. What will they do for you?

True Boxing

After the Super Bowl, we visited Freddie Roach and his veteran pupil, Manny Pacquaio, in anticipation of the most lucrative bout in boxing history. Roach is known for his candid, off the cuff comments about his fighters and their opponents. But as the Hall of Fame trainer flirts with retirement, he opened up to us about deeper struggles: his abusive father, biting off another man’s ear in a street fight, and love, the illusive ingredient in his celebrated career. Featured on sites like Sports Illustrated, our series with Roach offered a different glimpse into the complex, historic figure behind so many of boxing’s world champions.


We were backstage for Pacquiao v. Mayweather, publishing the first scoop about Pacquaio’s failure to report a shoulder injury. We also went deep with Roach’s training rival Floyd Mayweather Sr., who has mastered an underrated skill and a longtime tradition in boxing: pugilistic poems. Our video featuring some of Papa Mayweather’s best lines landed on TMZ.

True Toros

After partnering with Executive Producer Selena Roberts and the talented director Ido Mizrahy, True released its first co-production: GORED, a feature documentary that follows the last bullfight of Antonio Barrera, the most gored matador in modern history. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, went on to win awards in festivals across the world, and will premier live this spring on Netflix. We’ll be throwing a few parties to celebrate, so stay tuned.

Shipwreck Shebang

Back in New York, as the weather got warmer and city felt more claustrophobic, we rented a fishing boat for the True Members and invited some of the city’s top chefs to join us for an adventure on the high seas. The result was Shipwreck Shebang, an epic event that featured artisanal wines, filet-your-own sushi, whole hog barbecue, plenty of booze, and our first ever message in the bottle toss. It was a night of sweet memories, including the debut of the True flag thanks to our in-house flag maker Meredith Spector.

True West

The True team then went West, arriving at the Lola House in Napa Valley. Our host was artisanal winemaker, bottarga king and True brother Seth Cripe, who not only opened his doors, but also delivered a casual tutorial on abalone diving. Meanwhile, Chef Mike Emanuel made his own spit for a homemade feast, stuffing a massive pork loin with Blenheim apricots that had fallen from the tree outside his home. In the coals of the fire, he cooked a pot of heirloom beans along with North African style flatbread baked on the embers themselves. We topped it all off with a piñata contest, our traditional roast of the host, and a night at the Calistoga Speedway.


Back East, we opened up our first office in a cozy corner of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. True’s HQ was a partnership with our longtime saucier and occasional spiritual guide, Rich Awn, owner of Mombucha, the mother of all Kombuchas. We put together the magazine while he brewed his magic juice in the back. To honor the new union, we served paella and learned to dance flamenco with more than two hundred of our closest friends.


Settled in, we put together the first of our True Almanacs: collections of our original tales and stories coupled with handmade goods and experiences. Our Almanacs on Pamplona, Boat Building, Home Brewing, and The Tennis Mind were picked up in places like Time Magazine, Esquire, and Deadspin. Among the topics we devoured: how to run with the bulls, how to make amazing wine from the world’s stinkiest fruit, how to make your lover a houseboat, and on and on.


Along with crafting stories, we worked to develop our first line of gifts for our members: the True Pipe, fashioned with our good friends Jared Coles and John Klause in Fresno, California, along with our own custom backgammon board, designed in tandem with Jeff Caruso and his talented team at Crisloid Backgammon.

HAPPY 2016

We’re already hard at work on creating an even wilder 2016, but first we said goodbye to this year with some interpretive dancing.

Meanwhile: Stay True

We wish to thank the following people for their tireless support: Nimrod Barshad, Iliya Reyzis, Cristina Munoz, Jocelyn Tsaih, Donica Ida, Amy Motzny, Luz Periano, Katherine Lisciani, Parker Heaps, Caleb Seppala, Ben Riskin, Laura Cunningham, Jessica Perdomo of J.J. Gray shoes, Eric Hoffman, Chris Guenther, Chris Lee, Ross Arbes, Will Berkowitz, Drew Howard, Youyoung Lee, Selena Roberts, Greg Clayman, Ethan Palmer, Youyoung Lee, the Grand Army folks; ; Rich Awn of Mombucha; Belkis and Allen Hirsch of The Kaaterskill; Megan Roberts and Atlas Obscura; los amigos at La Tienda; Narragansett Beer and Van Brunt Stillhouse; the bartenders at The Spain; and all of you.