Think of your average 13-year-old’s culinary lexicon. It probably includes Kraft Mac & Cheese, Hot Pockets, Top Ramen, or Pizza Bagels. Not for Flynn McGarry, 13-year-old chef-extraordinaire from Los Angeles. He’s making dishes like trout with braised leeks, caramelized fennel, wild fennel fronds, and nasturtiums, and he’s not even in high school yet.
The precocious culinary prodigy, who turned to cooking when he couldn’t put up with his mom’s meals, began to carve out a presence in the food scene when John Sedlar, owner of the trendy Playa Restaurant, let McGarry commandeer the kitchen for a special nine-course meal, which sold out immediately to some of Los Angeles’ most discerning eaters.
At home, McGarry converted his bedroom into a full-service kitchen with only a small bed in the corner that folds down from the wall. Once a month, his house turns into a pop-up restaurant that hosts a monthly supper club that he has named EUREKA.
"My goal? Michelin three stars, a restaurant in the Top 50 list," he told MSNBC. "Hopefully the top five."
Check out the video above and watch McGarry taking charge, giving directions in his prepubescent voice to men many times his age.
McGarry, who plans to finish eighth grade this month, has an ambitious summer ahead of him. He’s just interned for Grant Achatz at Next and Alinea in Chicago and Modernist Cuisine's Food Lab in Seattle, and will head to stage at Eleven Madison Park under chef Daniel Humm in August.
For insights into McGarry's day-to-day life, check out his sister's blog here.