The best chefs in the world can’t eat fine dining all the time.
Bloomberg interviewed chefs from the world’s most celebrated restaurants about what they eat when they’re craving fast food.
Some chefs had classy tastes, even when it came to chains. Joan Roca from El Celler de Can Roca, in Girona, Spain — which was awarded the best restaurant in the world in 2015 — namedropped Beefsteak, a vegetarian-focused chain started by the chef José Andrés. Daniel Boulud said he loves Le Pain Quotidien, which is more bakery than fast food.
However, other chefs are true fast-food lovers at heart. Here are six fast-food menu items that chefs actually love.
1. Five Guys’ burger and milkshakes
Heston Blumenthal, the chef at Fat Duck in Bray, England says that Five Guys is high on his list, thanks to the burgers and milkshakes. “The guys behind the counters actually have some interest in food,” he told Bloomberg.
2. Popeyes’ fried chicken
“I treat myself to Popeyes a couple of times a year and I am wickedly happy downing a few pieces (wings and thighs best) of their crispy, spicy chicken — with a side of dirty rice and biscuits,” Danny Meyer told Bloomberg. Meyer, who founded Shake Shack in addition to fine dining classic Gramercy Tavern, is clearly an expert on what makes quality fast food.
3. Chipotle’s salad
Meyer’s other favourite: Chipotle. His go-to order isn’t a burrito, but instead salad with grilled chicken, pinto beans, shredded cheese, extra cilantro, and spicy dressing.
4. Shake Shack’s burger
Unsurprisingly, Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack was a top pick, mentioned by Helene Darroze, who inspired a character in Disney’s Ratatouille, and Massimo Bottura, chef of the current No. 1 restaurant in the world, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. The reason: the keen attention to detail that allows for the high quality of the meat, bread, and sauce.
5. KFC’s fried chicken sandwich
The top chef-approved KFC item is nowhere to be found on the American menu. “I only go for the Zinger Tower Burger,” Karam Sethi of Gymkhana in London told Bloomberg. “It’s got a fried, battered breast, hash brown, a spicy tomato salsa, mayonnaise and crispy iceberg in a sesame bun.”
6. In-N-Out’s burger
It may only be available on the West Coast, but In-N-Out Burger is a cult classic. Wolfgang Puck, of Spago in Beverly Hills, and Nuno Mendes, of Chiltern Firehouse in London, said the burger chain was one of their favourites.
“I like it because you can have a hamburger wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun,” said Puck. “I feel like I am eating a salad.”
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