Timothy Hollingsworth

Flavored by his worldwide travels, Chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s rustically polished, share-friendly plates take center stage at Otium – Downtown Los Angeles’ new contemporary restaurant showcase.

You spent 13 years at The French Laundry. What is the best piece of advice or thing you learned working with Thomas Keller?

Always Evolve  – he constantly changed the menu, we always pushed ourselves, and he made us constantly think about things critically. It was very hard sometimes, but it made us all better.

Growing up you learned to love cooking tri-tip with your dad. Who’s better at cooking it now?

I am. But there’s always something I appreciate in the nostalgia of how I used to eat it growing up, I just prefer it a little more medium rare than he does.

What do you find most exciting about the current food scene in Los Angeles?

I’ve always enjoyed the different options in LA, all the different ethnicities here. I think it’s always something that has been known about the city, but now we have a lot of younger chefs opening up different types of restaurants, it’s really a very dynamic and growing city.

LA Times Restaurant Critic Jonathon Gold recently called Otium “LA’s most ambitious new restaurant”. How would you describe the dining experience you have created there?

Otium is about the convergence of different ideas, its about bringing the community together but also being aware of our international visitors, its about traditional flavors and new techniques, something that is refined but also approachable.

Otium features takes on everything from British and Egyptian dishes, to Korean and French cuisine. Did you do any traveling to prepare for the new menu?

My past travels have of course informed the menu, but I also get ideas and take hints from people that I meet everywhere and my family.

What are your three main first year goals for the restaurant?

Create meaningful partnerships of all sorts. Make an impact in the community. Make memorable food

Can you describe your cooking philosophy in five words or less?

Draw inspiration from everywhere

What has been one of your most memorable meals?

Paul Bocuse – it was like traveling back in time. I never though Id be able to eat at a place like that, I had read about that style of cooking that time period and all the influential restaurants, but eating there was almost surreal.
Photography by Sierra Prescott and Michelle Park.

Oysters with shallot mignonette & horseradish at Otium