No two chefs have had the same journey. Instead, each career is shaped by that chef’s unique background: their cultural heritage, the schools they attended (or didn’t!), and the restaurants they worked in along the way.
For Chef Tim Hollingsworth, culinary school was not the answer. His approach to cooking was formed by a combination of powerful mentors, California cuisine, and his southern heritage. Today, he is the chef and owner of Otium in LA, and a proud father of three.
Chef Hollingsworth’s culinary journey began in California, where he was raised. Although he was surrounded by seasonal California cuisine, at home, their family meals were reflective of his mother’s Texan roots. Hollingsworth landed his first restaurant job at the age of 18. He started out working as a dishwasher at a small mom and pop restaurant outside of Sacramento. There, he fell in love with cooking, and soon knew he wanted to pursue it as a career. Hollingsworth considered culinary school, even going as far as to tour the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. However, by that time he knew that his learning style was better suited to the fast and frenetic pace of the kitchen, than to the formal regimen of school. When he got the call to work at The French Laundry, the choice was clear.
At first, the French Laundry was an intimidating environment. Walking in to the one of the most storied kitchens in America as a young, relatively unproven chef would make anyone question their skillset. It wasn’t long before Hollingsworth rose to the challenge. Over the course of 12 years working with Thomas Keller, Tim Hollingsworth climbed the ranks. He eventually became part of the team to open Per Se in New York, and earned the title of Chef de Cuisine at The French Laundry. While at The French Laundry, Hollingsworth received the 2010 James Beard Foundation’s Rising Chef of the Year Award, the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Rising Star Chef award, and represented the United States at the Bocuse d’Or, often known as the culinary Olympics.
In 2012, Chef Hollingsworth opened Otium in Los Angeles, and began to weave all of the elements of his story together. In the food there you’ll find traces of the high-end technique of the French Laundry, his personal connection to Southern cuisine, and global influences picked up from cooking and traveling abroad. Of course, a chef’s job doesn’t stop with the menu. At Otium, Hollingsworth is also dedicated to carrying on the legacy of mentorship. Young chefs are encouraged to contribute menu ideas and to take on new challenges. This mentality is also something that Chef Hollingsworth brings home, where he frequently cooks for his wife and children. Everyone has a chance to contribute. Everyone comes together to cook, learn, and taste.
Since 2012, Chef Hollingsworth has continued to push himself to cook in new environments. In 2018, he competed in Netflix’s The Final Table, and ultimately won the inaugural season. This desire to take on new challenges led him to partner with Blue Apron. By designing a series of meals for home chefs, Tim Hollingsworth is inviting you into your own kitchen to cook with him. He hopes you’ll find some new exciting flavors alongside a handful of comforting classic ones, and that these meals will give you an opportunity to join his story and share food with those you love.