Celebrity Chefs Name Their Favorite American Fast Foods

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It seems everyone occasionally noshes on fast food -- even top cooks. Find out which American restaurant chains got the thumbs-up from some of the world's most famous chefs.

I love Arby’s.

Yes, I realize that many people turn their nose up at Arby’s sandwiches and some people believe that Arby’s roast beef is made from a gel or powder (which Snopes has confirmed is not true), but I don’t care. I thoroughly enjoy Arby’s classic roast beef sandwich with its Horsey Sauce and an order of jalapeno poppers with Arby’s special Bronco Berry Sauce. Yum.

Fortunately for my waistline, the nearest Arby’s is a 90-minute drive from my town, so I only eat there a couple of times a year.

It turns out, everyone — even some of the world’s top chefs — enjoy a fast food fix from time to time.

Bloomberg’s chief food critic, Richard Vines, asked some of the world’s top chefs to name their favorite fast food restaurant. These U.S.-based restaurants earned top marks:

  • Five Guys: Heston Blumenthal, a top chef with England’s Fat Duck restaurant, says the Virginia-based Five Guys chain, which also has restaurants abroad, serves a delicious burger. “I like them. They make me happy,” Blumenthal told Vines. “They do a great milkshake, too.”
  • Shake Shack: Two chefs — Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana, Moderna, Italy) and Hélène Darroze (Hélène Darroze, Paris) — picked the popular burger chain as their favorite fast food eatery. “They care about the ingredients and that is what makes the difference,” Bottura told Vines. “They serve beautiful burgers and hot dogs with amazing quality of bread and meat,” Darroze said of the U.S. chain, which also has international locations. “And it is also a place where you can meet people from everywhere.”
  • Popeyes: Gramercy Tavern’s Danny Meyer says the fried chicken chain, along with Chipotle Mexican Grill, are his picks for tasty fast food restaurants. “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,” Meyer says. “Or I’m completely satisfied making a lunch of a salad from Chipotle, loaded with grilled chicken, pinto beans, shredded cheese, extra cilantro and spicy dressing.”
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken: Chef Karam Sethi (Gymkhana, London) told Vines that he loves KFC. “I only go for the Zinger Tower Burger. It’s got a fried, battered breast, hash brown, a spicy tomato salsa, mayonnaise and crispy iceberg in a sesame bun. The chicken is always juicy.”
  • In-N-Out: Chef Wolfgang Puck (Spago, Beverly Hills) says the West Coast-based burger chain is mouthwateringly delicious. “I like it because you can have a hamburger wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun. I feel like I am eating a salad. My wife loves it. With our burger, you eat the meat. With theirs, you eat the condiments.”

Those are some of the world’s top chefs picks for best fast food restaurant. Now check out what fast food joints were included on a list of “America’s Best Loved — and Most Loathed — Fast Food Chains.”

What do you think of the chefs’ picks for top fast food restaurants? What is your favorite fast food chain? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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