Dining

Chef Confessions: Favorite Fast Food Eats

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We’re all guilty of it – when you don’t feel like cooking or need something quick while on the go, it’s easy to swing by the drive-through of your favorite fast food joint! But did you know chefs are just as guilty of stopping by their top fast-food spots, too? We asked some of San Diego’s hottest chefs their favorite place to grab a quick bite and what must-have menu items they order.

Chef Q

Since moving to Southern California from New Orleans, Louisiana Purchase’s Culinary Director Quinnton ‘Q’ Austin admits he has been pretty impressed with In-N-Out Burger. Though quite different from Louisiana Purchase’s rotating menu of dishes crafted using seasonal ingredients and big, bold flavors from the region, Chef Q says he appreciates the consistency with In-N-Out’s food. His go-to order? A Double-Double with onion!

OMG Hospitality Group’s Corporate Chef Daniel England, who oversees restaurants likeWaterbar and Union Kitchen & Tap Encinitas, loves Chipotle for its fresh ingredients and great value. “They make everything in-house daily, plus for just $10, you’re guaranteed to be full,” says Chef Dan. Although he usually orders a steak burrito with EVERYTHING on it, he also sometimes orders from Chipotle’s secret menu. His favorite is a burrito wrapped in a quesadilla – the Quesarito!

Chef Kevin Templeton

Executive Chef Kevin Templeton, from downtown’s iconic barleymash, raves about Del Taco’s Del Scorcho Hot Sauce, explaining that it’s the best hot sauce to ever come in a packet – hands down! Chef Kevin loves to incorporate chilies and spices in the elevated bar fare at barleymash, so he truly appreciates a good hot sauce. When ordering at Del Taco, Chef Kevin enjoys their plain quesadillas, fries and The Del Taco, an original menu item.

Chef Rhoelle, from Amici’s Ristobar located at The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch, also lists her guilty pleasure fast food restaurant as In-N-Out. The chain is conveniently open when she leaves work late after closing the restaurant and instills a feeling of nostalgia for Chef Rhoelle. She remembers trying her first In-N-Out cheeseburger with her mom, while sitting in her elementary school cafeteria. After one bite, there was no going back! Her go-to order typically consists of a cheeseburger, ‘Animal Style’ FriesNeapolitan Milkshake, pink lemonade or Barq’s Root Beer.

Chef Darrell Campbell

A new edition to CLARA, a farm-to-table dinking and drinking oasis in Carlsbad, Executive Chef Darrell Campbell takes pride in creating dishes full of fresh California produce. Although he doesn’t often eat fast food, he says Taco Bell has always been his weakness. “My friends and I used to eat it for lunch all the time in high school,” says Chef Darrell. “I grew up in Michigan, so Taco Bell was pretty much what we had for Mexican food.” When visiting Taco Bell, Chef Darrell always gets a double-decker, no matter what.

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