14-year-old child prodigy Flynn McGarry is cooking a sold out 12 course meal for 40 people at $160 per person at the Beverly Hills BierBisel this Wednesday. He has previously cooked for more than 120 people and run his own pop-up restaurant.
Wednesday’s menu at BierBisel includes sunchoke confit with dehydrated grapefruit, smoked sturgeon and beef with wild mushrooms, celery roots, black vinegar and coffee.
McGarry is excited about the meal. He told ABC, “The chef at BierBisel is super nice and said, ‘Whatever you need, I’ll help you cook.’” McGarry added, “I am going into this a lot more confident than other dinners. I started working on this [Thursday], running around town getting supplies. It is a week process, which most people don’t really realize.”
McGarry, who is from San Fernando Valley, California, started his cooking career three years ago at the age of 11 because he didn’t like his mom’s cooking. He told the Daily Mail, “My mom didn’t really like cooking and when she did cook, I didn’t really like her food. And I was watching something on the Food Network, and I thought, ‘I could do this.’”
Fortunately, mom Meg McGarry wasn’t offended and supported his cooking ambitions. She bought him cookbooks and showed him internet recipes. McGarry said, “It was after looking at all these cookbooks and going on the internet and looking at all these dishes that I thought, ‘I could achieve that one day.’”
He started cooking just for his family. “I’ve always been very creative, and I wanted to create my own dishes, and I didn’t know too much about it- but I would do variations from ‘French Laundry’ and other cookbooks and would cook them for my family.” He added, “Then, I started liking the creative part of it, and started to cook for more people than just my family.”
He and his mom put his cooking skills to the test by opening Eureka, a dinner club that hosts monthly dinner parties in their home. They built a test kitchen inside his bedroom, just two tables and a couple of gas burners. When he was thirteen his sister went off to college and he moved into her room. His old room was revamped and now boasts induction burners, a 10 foot plating area, and four cooking stations. His mom became the “general manager and reluctant dishwasher,” as she calls herself.
McGarry attends Laurel Springs’ online private school so he can balance education and cooking in his busy schedule. His mother told ABC about her son, “He’s progressing so fast and it’s super overwhelming, but it’s also exciting. You are always proud of your children's’ accomplishments. He showed such passion for this that it was an obvious choice to allow him to do what he loves to do.”
Watch a video of the young chef at work here