Award-winning Chef & Restaurateur
Timothy Hollingsworth is an award-winning chef and restaurateur in Los Angeles. In 2015, he opened Otium, an ambitious all-day restaurant next to The Broad. A longtime LA favorite, Otium’s sophisticated, yet accessible menu features eclectic, vibrant, and seasonal flavors. Last year, he brought C.J. Boyd’s to The Fields LA, a fried chicken stand that pays homage to Chef Tim’s grandfather Cecil Boyd and his southern roots. Before he moved to Los Angeles in 2012, Hollingsworth started his career at The French Laundry where he worked for 13 years including four years as the Chef de Cuisine. Hollingsworth has represented the United States at the prestigious Bocuse d’Or World Final and has won multiple awards throughout his career, including the Rising Star Chef Award from The San Francisco Chronicle and the Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, presented by the James Beard Foundation. He is also the winner of Netflix’s The Final Table, a global culinary competition series that debuted in November 2018. He lives in Mt. Washington with his wife and two kids.
I’m Chef Timothy Hollingsworth, who came up at The French Laundry, and is now based in LA as owner and chef of Otium and CJ Boyds. I have learned from and cooked with chefs at the highest level, as well as home cooks. I want to be known as someone who can cook at a masterful level, but also in an approachable way. My style blends highbrow and low, which produces a unique mix.
As a high school job, I began as a dishwasher at a restaurant near my hometown of Placerville, CA. I grew in the role and began taking on more responsibility in the restaurant, eventually becoming sous chef. Then, I set my sites on The French Laundry as my next stop.
I think globally influenced cuisine is a trend, as well as hyper-regional and specific food. I think people are developing a great amount of pride for their heritage, and want to celebrate where those cultural flavors originated — which is awesome.
In our industry, staffing is a challenge. With the constant new restaurant openings, it’s important to try as much as possible to maintain and develop your staff to instill the culture we aim to have at the restaurant.
I was inspired by the local area of downtown and Bunker Hill, with all the surroundings arts and businesses, and wanted to bring international cooking to this clientele.
We’re continuing to get our foothold in Los Angeles and in Downtown, while focusing on international and local cuisines.
Bringing chef friends into the restaurant and creating our own content and activations to continually raise awareness and build exposure. Forming collaborations and special dinners has been a central part of the restaurant since opening and is something we use to provide new experiences to our clients and audience.
I like to motivate others by granting liberty and allowing them to think for themselves. I think by giving people freedom to do what they would like; it gives them a sense of ownership and pride in their job.
Expect a lot of hard work in cooking. However, it is also a craft and to develop those skills, it takes a lot of time, commitment and practice. No matter what level achieved, you are constantly learning.
When I cook and try to utilize everything around me. This means constantly adapting how ingredients are perceived and consumed, as well as evolving the products used to make it the best. Sometimes can become difficult for others to replicate or write a recipe, but when it comes down it — this yields the best results and is a signifier of authentic cooking.
I aspire to continue to learn and challenge myself with new techniques and recipes, as well as always striving to learn food through culture.
I love Mexico City for the tacos, and Baja, CA for the seafood and ingredients. Coming from LA, these places are close enough to travel often and discover more and more each time. In fact, I’ve been able to explore in ways that aren’t always possible for my some of my other favorite far away travel destinations, like Tokyo or Lebanon.
Cooking with my children and teaching them about food and ingredients – it’s amazing to watch someone taste something for the first time. Kids are also very tough critics, so introducing them to new flavors is all about balance.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
The food, the diversity of the people, and our access to so many different cultures, cuisines, and ingredients is unrivaled.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Right now, I’m really digging Konbi. Whether I go for a tomago sandwich, a pork tonkatsu, or the Japanese breakfast that they offer, I love what they do. If I’m feeling gluttonous, I’ll even get a croissant.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Normally making coffee, getting the day started and planning breakfast for my kids, while answering some emails.
10:00 AM – At the restaurant, in a meeting, or somewhere between the two.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal? I have the kitchen make me a kale salad with a grilled salmon, or a raw fish and rice bowl. I like to have something on the lighter side, so it doesn’t slow me down for the day.
7:00 PM – At the restaurant or cooking dinner at home for my kids and wife if I can.
11:00 PM – Usually, hanging out with friends and family, listening to music, or playing a board game. Sometimes I might be reading a cookbook to research ingredients and projects.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
I drink several cold brews a day. At the end of the night, I’m usually having a glass of wine or tea.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? My most used app is Instagram
Where do you enjoy getting lost? In my own home/background. I like figuring out the land and different surrounding areas, as well as going through my garage and projects. We recently moved into a new home, so I’m deciding where I can plant my garden, set up my Traeger grills, and which projects I can start.