Teenage chef Flynn McGarry is learning a tough lesson in New York City’s über-competitive restaurant world: just because you’re young doesn’t mean critics will go easy on you. Flynn McGarry, 16, has received quite a lot of buzz— and not all of it positive— as a prodigy chef, known for creating complex dishes like peanut Ritz crackers with foie gras terrine and sour cherry compote, and beet Wellington with ember-roasted carrot gelée and smoked egg yolk.
McGarry’s first-ever permanent restaurant in Manhattan, Eureka, has grabbed the attention of New York’s hungry and elite. One of the first critics to scope out Eureka was the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo, who was no fan of the West Village restaurant. Cuozzo panned the entire experience in a scathing review topped with the headline, “This Teen Chef Is Proof Kids Should Stay Out of the Kitchen.”The restaurant critic was not impressed by what he called a “ridiculous rip-off” price and wrote that, “McGarry’s handlers, who include a Hollywood agent, have thrust him into the spotlight like a circus animal just learning to walk — a strategy that will not help a career that has yet to actually exist.”
Cuozzo did admit that the 14-course dinner “pulled off some nice effects, once past a microscopic opener of an eensy Ritz cracker with peanut butter and a molecule of foie gras. Autumn squash boasted a meaty heft, and there was an excellent aged beet.” But the critic and real estate columnist advised diners to place their bets (and their $160) elsewhere.
Cuozzo isn’t the only food hound to criticize this teen in a toque.
Cuozzo in NYPost wins the NY critical day with takedown of nauseatingly hyped wunderkind teen chef, Flynn McGarry's food a la ego.
— Mimi Sheraton (@mimisheraton) September 30, 2015
Plus, before McGarry’s restaurant even opened two weeks ago, the concept and the $160 tasting menu were already derided by chef David Santos (of the now-closed Louro) who ranted in a lengthy Instagram post that that “even calling him a chef offends me to no end.”