Final Table Winner Tim Hollingsworth Can't Resist These Fast Foods - Exclusive

Chef Tim Hollingsworth of Los Angeles restaurant Otium knows how to prepare some decidedly upscale foods. Case in point: During a recent exclusive Mashed interview, he described the "fairly simple" potatoes dish customers love from his menu — which doesn't sound simple to make at all. As he noted, they're steamed, smashed, and fried; seasoned with lemon juice and lemon zest, chopped shallots, black pepper, fleur de sel, Aleppo pepper, and chopped parsley. And then they're paired with creme fraiche. If that's not elevated food, we don't know what is.

It comes as little surprise, then, that on the Otium menu, you'll also find dishes like Ora King Salmon Tartare, Japanese Sweet Potato Agnolotti, and Huckleberry Cheesecake. But what might come as a surprise is the fact that this award-winning chef who not too long ago won the Netflix competition "Final Table" is also an unabashed fan of fast food.

Granted, Hollingsworth doesn't indulge in drive-thru meals all that often these days, but when he does, he loves the stuff. As he said, "I don't eat a ton of fast food, to be very honest with you, but there are certain times — obviously if I'm on a road trip, or different things like that, [when] we will eat fast food. Like I just drove up to my parents' house, it's an eight-and-a-half hour drive, so we usually stop and eat once or twice." 

So, where does the celebrated chef usually stop? The first place Hollingsworth mentioned made sense given that he's a native Californian. "In-N-Out is definitely one of them that's kind of a staple one, especially being from and living in California. In-N-Out offers ... great, reliable food," he said.

Growing up, eating out was a treat for Hollingsworth

"I grew up very humbly," Tim Hollingsworth added during a recent chat with Mashed (which took place as he was sitting in the childhood home he grew up in). "My mom cooked really every single meal that we ate. We ate out very little growing up. It was really kind of a treat to eat out. But, my mom was a very good cook." He also shared what he used to eat at home: "She made chicken and dumplings and chili. Sundays we had pot roast, a lot of Tex Mex-style food as well. Just lots of different foods. My mom, she raised us on [home cooking]."

When the Hollingsworth family did venture out to eat, there was one fast casual spot that is still a favorite for the star chef, largely for the sake of tradition. "I grew up on Round Table Pizza," he shared. "That was something that my family would go and eat ... so [I] like having Maui Zaui Round Table Pizza." 

And there's one other fast food spot that the he also admitted to enjoying. "I love Taco Bell. I always order the same things. It's Nachos Bell Grande, two Tacos Supreme, and Cinnamon Twists. It's one of those things that it's just nostalgic for me. I usually am not happy after I eat it, but looking forward to it and thinking about it is one of the things that it's definitely nostalgic for me."

Follow Chef Tim Hollingsworth on Instagram, and check out Otium next time you're in L.A.