14 Year Old Star Chef Makes Debut At Beverly Hills Restaurant
While most 14-year-olds are playing sports or the newest version of “Call of Duty,” Beverly Hills’ Flynn McGarry is preparing 18-course meals for post supper parties in his parents’ home and now an upscale local restaurant. And while many chefs work their entire careers to develop their own menus, McGarry has taken the culinary world by storm just three years after learning to cook.
McGarry’s path to master chefdom began in his mother’s kitchen when he was just 11 years old.
“My mom didn’t really like cooking, and when she did cook I didn’t really like her food,” McGarry told Good Morning America. “And I was watching something on the Food Network, and I thought, ‘I could do this,’ And so I went to the bookstore and I looked for the thickest, biggest cookbook. And I found ‘The French Laundry’ by Thomas Keller. And things were very hard to make and took six-plus hours to cook. So I decided to try something simpler, like salmon and potatoes and it went from there.”
Within a year of creating his own dishes, McGarry was able to master then entire French cookbook, even designing variations of complex recipes from “French Laundry” and other cookbooks, which he would prepare for his family. Soon he was preparing larger meals for guests, as well.
“It was to the point that I wanted to do this as much as I could do it,” McGarry told Good Morning America. “And [it was] after looking at all these cookbooks and going on the Internet and looking at these dishes that I thought, ‘I could achieve that one day. I thought, every time I try it, I hope to keep getting better and better. I just fell in love with it.”
McGarry and his mother Meg created a supper club in order to support his growing passion in the kitchen. The two hosted monthly dinner parties from their home—initially 12-course meals for 40 guests but later changed to 18 courses for 12 people. McGarry’s parents also allowed him to convert his bedroom into a test kitchen.
“At first, my parents were fine with it, but then they asked, ‘Do you want to be sleeping next to a stove?’ And I was so in to it, and I was like, ‘Yes!‘” he said. “It started off as two tables with some gas burners, my desk and my bed. But the problem was that I need more space for more things, so I downsized my bed, got rid of my desk. And I was living in there for like a year, and I would sleep on my bed, pop it up, do my schoolwork at my work space table. It was difficult because I was 13 and pretty much living and sleeping, and then the rest of the time it was a kitchen. And when my sister went to college I moved down to her room. Then we went full out with the kitchen.”
The young chef’s bedroom now houses all the equipment needed to prepare feasts for large dinner parties—induction burners, a large convection oven, a 10-foot-long plating area and four stations, one each for meat, hot appetizers, cold appetizers and hors d’ouvres.
Soon McGarry, who has already worked in several restaurants in Los Angeles and New York City, will cater an event at Beverly Hills’ BierBeisl, which has already sold out at $160 a head. The Jan. 30 menu will include items such as sunchocke confit with smoked sunchoke puree, yogurt with dehydrated grapefruit and sunflower seeds, smoked sturgeon with onions and pine vinegar tapioca with rye bread. For dessert, diners can choose from menu items such as chocolate with hazelnuts and caramel bonbons.
“The chef at BierBeisl is super nice and said, ‘Whatever you need, I’ll help you cook,’” McGarry said. “It was a natural thing, and it works with the restaurant’s schedule and is a lot easier to do it in a restaurant.”
[Top image via YouTube/diningwithflynn, Bottom image via Facebook/BierBeisl]
I want more stuff like this!