I don't know about you, but the last thing I feel like doing after a long day of classes is cook. It's not that I don't like cooking, but the prep work is so time consuming. Blue Apron is an ingredient and recipe meal kit that takes the work out of cooking. I had the chance to talk with Chef Tim Hollingsworth about his summer collaboration, 4th of July BBQ ideas, the future of restaurants and more. 

Tim Hollingsworth X Blue Apron Interview 

Photo Courtesy of Blue Apron

1. We are living in a time where cooking is on the back of many people’s minds. What would you recommend to people who are looking for restaurant style meals and fresh quality ingredients without all the effort?

I think meal kits like Blue Apron are an awesome way to cook restaurant style meals with fresh ingredients without all the effort. I currently have 4 recipes featured on BlueApron.com. for people to cook dishes like ones that we have on the menu at Otium, or some that I like to make at home for our family including Chicken with Walnut Mahammara, Couscous & Labneh, Grilled BBQ NY Strip Steaks with Baked Beans and Grilled Zucchini, Salmon with Tamarind Sauce, Aromatic Rice and Crispy Onions, Salsa Chicken Tacos with Snap Pea Elote and Shrimp with Ginger-Tomato Cream and Rice Cakes.

2. Since the summer is quickly approaching, can you share any recipes that are fit for a 4th of July BBQ or pool party?

I love making salsa chicken tacos during the summer. These tacos are actually one of the four recipes that are featured at BlueApron.com as a meal kit. They are super easy to make and an interactive family style dish that allows everyone to have fun building their own taco just the way they would like it.

3. Why do you think there has been a rise in sea-food consumption during this quarantine? Do you have any tips on how to approach cooking seafood for someone who has never done it?

I wasn't aware that there was a rise in sea-food consumption, but at our home we try really hard to balance our meat to seafood consumption and diversify the ingredients we enjoy. We have a traeger grill at home, which is an awesome way to cook your seafood. Using the "low and slow" technique is great because it broadens your window for error and adds a great natural wood flavor to your dish.

4. As a college student, I’m always looking for new ways to spruce up my meals. What is an ingredient that people should be taking advantage of in their kitchens?

Cooking is always about building flavors. Sometimes in a home kitchen it's hard to add a lot of depth in flavor in your cooking, so I think using ingredients that are fermented is a great way to add that depth in flavor; for example, I love using Miso or Doenjang.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Apron

5. What are you doing to stay connected with your audience during this time?

This time has allowed me to create a lot more content from home. Me and my wife and kids started a Youtube channel called Hollingsworth House where I share some family friendly recipes or tips with my audience.

6. How do you think the restaurant industry will change as a result of this current crisis?

I think when something as tragic as this happens, people will learn and adapt by protecting themselves in the future, so restaurants who may not have considered take out and delivery as part of their concept before may be more apt to setting that system into place now. 

7. If people are looking for a new show to binge during this time, what can you tell us about your experience on “The Final Table” ? How is it different from other cooking shows?

The Final Table was an incredible experience, and I think what was so special about it was that it was a global cooking competition. There were 24 chefs from around the world who for the most part were trained to cook food primarily from their ethnic background or from the region they were living in, so it was exciting to watch chefs step outside of their comfort zone and explore food and ingredients from regions outside of their own.