On February 28th, my husband and I had the distinct pleasure of Dining with Flynn. Flynn McGarry is a 16 […]
On February 28th, my husband and I had the distinct pleasure of Dining with Flynn. Flynn McGarry is a 16 year old chef. At twelve years old, McGarry started EUREKA, a monthly supper club in his home with a small staff and a kitchen operating out of his bedroom. By the time Flynn was fourteen, EUREKA had become a monthly pop up restaurant serving a tasting menu of eight to ten courses to fifty guests. Last year, when Flynn was in New York, I tried to get a reservation at one of his pop up dinners, but it was sold out. This year, I was lucky enough to get a reservation. To sum up the night in one word? Divine! It goes without saying that it was also droolworthy! In addition to having a spectacular meal, we watched a 16 year old prodigy cook and plate our 14 course meal right in front of us. Flynn was no more than 3 feet away and our vantage point was perfect. McGarry is quite reserved and serious, but also very friendly and accommodating. He agreed to let me interview him! (Scroll down to read interview) If you have an interest in Dining with Flynn, go to his website and submit your email and you will be sent information the next time Eureka is in New York. Remember his name: Flynn McGarry.
This was our menu:
- foie gras – torchon with peanut and kumquat
- egg yolk – cured and gel with saffron, raw squash, and yellow beet
- razor clam marinated with blood orange, macadamia nut and chervil
- ossetra caviar with celery root and walnut
- hamachi belly warmed over embers with radish and grilled chicories
- sea urchin brined in sea water with carrots and coffee
- kohlrabi confit in cheese fat with mustard and a sauce of rye bread and egg yolks
- sunchokes roasted with marjoram, pistachio, pear and barigoule (I asked him what this is since I had never heard of it – barigoule is a broth made from various vegetables, white wine, lemon, and olive oil)
- atlantic cod grilled in cabbage leaves with cauliflower, ham hock and a cabbage and cod roulade
- 21 day aged beet, bordelaise, wilted greens
- aged lamb saddle, grilled over Japanese charcoal with meyer lemon, yogurt, olive and potato
- spruce and grapefruit palate cleanser
- parsnip cake with white coffee ice cream and banana
- fortune cookies
I apologize for the lack of description on the menu items. I am NOT a restaurant critic or a food blogger. Everything was unusally delicious. Quite a few things, we had never had before: parsnip cake! sea urchin! Every bite was first-class on the palate and we lamented when each dish was finished. But, then there was another dish and another and another! The night was fun, interesting, entertaining, and best of all, SCRUMPTIOUS!
How old were you when you started learning to cook?
I was around ten.
From whom did you learn to cook?
I started with cookbooks and techniques from the internet. Later I learned from the chefs and cooks I apprenticed under.
Do you watch the Food Network? If so, which shows?
I really don’t have that much time and if I do, I like to watch shows that aren’t about food or cooking.
How old were you when you converted your bedroom to a kitchen?
I was around twelve. It gave me some privacy when I was creating dishes. We updated the electric and it had lots of windows for ventilation, so in the end the only thing that made it a bedroom was the bed I pushed up against the wall.
How did you pay for the equipment?
Some bigger items I got for birthday presents or Christmas. Later, when I started getting paid, I bought my own equipment.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to play racket ball and I go to dinner and movies with my friends.
Tell us about your favorite cooking experiences?
The last pop up I did in New York was really great because I set up a counter and got to interact directly with the guests. I also had a small staff, so I got to plate all the dishes myself.
What are some of your favorite tools to work with?
I use my Japanese grill a lot and my dehydrator.
What are some of your favorite foods to work with?
I’ve been working with beets for a long time trying to bring out their flavor to resemble a protein. I also like sturgeon and sunchokes. (The beet dish was my favorite dish of the night!)
Any tips on what not to do -a.k.a. what have your learned from your mistakes?
If you’re prepped ahead of time, service normally goes very well. I learned that pretty early on. Also, make sure you have enough staff to do the job you want, otherwise you’ll end up doing everything yourself and getting stressed out.
Do you ever cook for your friends?
Do either of your parents like to cook?
Who cooks holiday dinners at your house?
I usually do, but my dad helps out.
What is your favorite food to eat ?
Pretzels and apples.
What is your favorite restaurant?
Eleven Madison Park.
Name one random talent that you have that people might not know.
I’m pretty good at soccer.
And the last question:
On a typical day, what do you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
I don’t really like breakfast, but a croissant and fruit, lunch if I’m at work, whatever they’re serving, otherwise I’ll get something quick like a taco, and dinner, I’ll eat some kind of ethnic food.
Thank you so much for your time, Flynn! I really appreciate it!