Recognized widely as a “food prodigy,” Flynn McGarry is a truly unique teen.
A southern Californian native, Flynn only started cooking at the age of 10. He revealed on The Today Show that “my mom didn’t really like cooking, and when she did cook I didn’t really like her food.”
He then went to the bookstore, bought the biggest culinary book and started from there. After experimenting and modifying the recipes Flynn started creating his own. He decided to invite some of his mom’s friends over for meals, thus starting his monthly pop-up restaurant, Eureka.
Flynn was not just born with his talent for cooking, he works hard. In his bedroom, which has been transformed into a high quality kitchen, he practices daily. He chose to be home schooled so that he could research and practice cuisine, a practice greater than acquiring a basic knowledge.
Now after apprenticing at high quality restaurants such as Eleven Madison Park, Flynn is guest-cheffing at one of LA’s most prestigious restaurants, BierBeisl. This easter he has been invited to demonstrate at the White House Easter Egg Roll.
He still has everything to prove to the world of fine cuisine. Since at the age of 14 he has already become a more skilled chef than most 50 year olds and it is no longshot to suppose that this teen is destined for greatness.
Oracle: What has your recent BierBeisl experience taught you about cooking in general as well as serving at a restaurant?
FM: It is so much easier to be in a restaurant kitchen especially with a full, professional staff. It has also taught me how to expedite the courses so the meal takes two and half hours opposed the three hours it was before.
ORACLE: I read somewhere that you are home schooled. How does this change the topics you study as well as your daily routine?
FM: It gives me a flexible schedule, which is important so I have time to test dishes and do my Eureka pop up.
ORACLE: How many of your own recipes have you created in the past few years?
FM: Around a hundred.
ORACLE: Do you have dislikes or allergies of any foods?
FM: I pretty much like every food.
ORACLE: What of your own dish creations are you most proud of?
FM: I am probably most proud of my smoked sturgeon dish with wild onions, rye bread and tapioca because it tastes like comfort food but is still very elegant.
ORACLE: What is your favorite food (vegetable, grain, fruit, dairy/poultry product etc.) to work or cook with? Why?
FM: Sun chokes, because they have a very complex flavor for a root vegetable.
ORACLE: What influenced you to join Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter?
FM: I thought it was a good way for people to see what I was doing if they couldn’t make it to one of my dinners.
ORACLE: What generated you to open up a pop-up restaurant in your own home?
FM: It started of a kind of test to myself to see if other people thought my food tasted good, and when they did we started doing the pop-ups more and inviting more people.
ORACLE: Why did you choose the word “Eureka” as the name of your restaurant? Does it have any personal connection to you, other than it’s meaning?
FM: It is actually the name of the street I live on, and being that eureka means a sudden discovery it fit with the sudden inspiration behind my cooking.
ORACLE: Which chef has most influenced you and your creations?
FM: Daniel Humm from Eleven Madison Park.
ORACLE: Not just do you cook well, but you have learned the trade of “fine dining”. How did this come about?
FM: From my apprenticeship at Eleven Madison Park and from going to eat in fine restaurants.
ORACLE: What cookbook have you used most and why?
FM: The Eleven Madison Park Cookbook because it has amazing recipes as well as some basics like how to make stocks or sauces.
ORACLE: Would you ever think of writing your own cookbook?
FM: Maybe someday, but it’s very time consuming and I don’t think I have enough recipes yet.
ORACLE: Would you ever go into any other field other than cooking?
FM: No, at this point I can’t imagine doing anything else.
ORACLE: What is your favorite restaurant?
FM: Eleven Madison Park.
ORACLE: What generated your love of cooking?
FM: The creative side of it because there are so many combinations of ingredients, and I love to eat good food.
ORACLE: What new dishes are you working on currently?
FM: I’ve been working on my new 12 course spring menu. One of the courses is Smoked English peas with buttermilk whey and curds, lemon verbena, and buckwheat.
ORACLE: Who has been most inspiring person in your process to becoming a well known chef?
FM: Daniel Humm, because his restaurant is constantly changing, he is a good example of a chef who can be very calm in a stressful environment.
ORACLE: Normally, how do you feel when giving live interviews, such as the today show?
FM: It’s nerve-racking because it’s live, but when I start cooking it’s easy to forget the cameras and just concentrate on what I am doing.
ORACLE: How do you feel about being described as a “prodigy”, what does that word mean to you?
FM: It’s flattering, but obviously puts a lot of pressure on me to keep evolving and getting better.
ORACLE: What are your plans for the future in the next few years or after finishing school?
FM: Once I graduate and can work full time, I would like to work my way up the ranks at a three-Michelin-starred restaurant and then after that open Eureka as a real restaurant.
Featured Photo: Dining with Flynn