19-Year-Old Chef Flynn McGarry Is Ready To Be Taken Seriously | Changing The Game
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19-Year-Old Chef Flynn McGarry Is Ready To Be Taken Seriously | Changing The Game

– [Interviewer] Was there ever a moment where you stopped to think to yourself is this really what I wanna do? – Every single day. I mean if you work a job that you have no days off and you work 18 hours a day. If you never once have doubt of like, should I be doing something else? I think you’re an actual psychopath. There wasn’t a conscious moment where I was like “I’m gonna be chef.” Every day I just wanted to work in a kitchen and so that’s what I did. (happy music) – [Narrator] Flynn McGarry
is true force in the kitchen. At age 11 he began holding dinner parties out of his home in LA for $160 a head. In the years following he hosted a series of pop ups in some of America’s
most esteemed restaurants. Now at 19 he has officially opened his own permanent place, Gem, in Manhattan’s lower East side and with that he’s ready to be taken for more than just his age. – [Interviewer] You’ve kind of built up this persona as a teen chef protege. One outlet called you the
Justin Bieber of food. – Every outlet now is
calling me this name. – [Interviewer] What do you
make of that characterization? – I think people have this obsession with defining things they don’t understand with things that they have already seen. I have literally nothing in
common with Justin Bieber other than the fact that
both of us did things young. People need a reference point, and so they’re just gonna
find the closest thing that they can find to
kind of put you in a box. That’s always been an issue I’ve had with the cooking industry,
every time I do something they try to kind of, fit me
into something and I’ll be like, “No, I wanna be something different.” – [Interviewer] How do you break out of that characterization? – That was the big thing
with the restaurant. (energetic music) The only way to really solidify my career was to do something permanent. If I take something, as a
restaurant and make it essentially myself, then maybe the
focus will be more on that. – [Interviewer] I’m really curious, what does your creative process look like? – It’s interesting because I’ve worked for a lot of chefs who
have a very formal process of creating dishes, it’s very
clean, it’s very organized. Mine is very, all over the place. I’ll be walking down the
street, I’ll be like, “What if we did like, plums in this?” And then I’ll go to a market and buy plums and a bunch of things, and
then will make a huge mess in the kitchen trying all
these different things, and just mixing it and I didn’t really figure out a recipe for it, but I just figure out, “Okay, now it tastes good.” And then kind of work from there. – [Interviewer] In the
documentary, Chef Flynn, your mom talks about, you
know, the long brutal nights you had working at pop ups,
blistering your feet, little sleep, what was your biggest
motivation to keep going? Because obviously,
that’s hard on an adult, that’s even harder on a teenager. – I mean, I think it is this sort of like, never being really
satisfied with yourself. I mean, today I had a
meeting with all the staff ’cause I was like, “We are
doing good, so we need to change “everything because we’re not struggling, “or we’re not working
harder than we have to be.” When you are sort of the
underdog or the person who isn’t just doing the
same thing as everyone else, if you’re not working 10 times
harder than everyone else, you’re instantly gonna
just be kinda cast off. And so it has always been this thing if I’m like, I’m the youngest person, I need to work harder than everyone else, right now, I’m like, okay,
we’re full every night, people are liking everything,
but what else can we do? We got good at something, so now why don’t we get good at something else? And something else, and something else. – [Interviewer] What would you
say was the biggest takeaway you learned from working your
pop ups in New York and LA that led you to like this space? – How important everything
other than the food is. I spent more time figuring out every other element of the restaurant. You know how to cook food,
that’s like the last thing. You can’t enjoy the
food if everything else isn’t happening at the same time. And I think that was
the biggest thing to me with having my own space, was like, okay, now we have this
opportunity to make this perfect. – [Interviewer] What do you say to someone if they’re a critic, and they say, “You know what, I’m not gonna trust him, “you know, with this price tag cooked by “someone who’s no older than 27, “not to mention, the
executive chef is 19.” – Yeah, I mean, I don’t
know, I think like, excuse my language, but
what the fuck’s wrong? I mean, it’s like, look, if
the food sucks, the food sucks. I’ve had terrible meals
cooked by 50 year olds. I don’t think that’s an age thing. I think that’s a, you either
know how to cook or you don’t. And I think I welcome people to come, and if they don’t like the
meal, they don’t like the meal. And that’s like, totally fine. That’s what food is, it’s subjective, but at the same time, I think, we do the same stuff every
other restaurant has to do. This price point, we have
the same waver costs, we have the same rent,
the same ingredients that are really expensive, we have the same everything that goes into it. We spend so much time
cooking and so much time preparing it, that if we
can, and I hope that’s what we’re doing, if you can come and get and incredible meal from
people this young cooking, it’s like, why would you not want that? (reflective music)

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68 thoughts on “19-Year-Old Chef Flynn McGarry Is Ready To Be Taken Seriously | Changing The Game

  1. Incredible video recording! Right here at Y&S FOOD! we really like to discover this kind of content. We create Travel & Food video as well, world wide, and also we are often aiming for inspirations and so ideas. Thank You.

  2. There are three thin bundles of hair shaking over his forehead that bother me tremendously. If those things exist today, as I'm writing this, I must invade Denmark.

  3. hi sir this is benot lepcha from india, actually i like to work at reasturent it my hobby and i was started to work at this Hotelindustry its been 4 years so i need a job could u offer me a job in us it my dream to come usa

  4. Not hating but his parents must be rich or know a lot of people to be able to have people pay $160 for a meal made by an 11 yr old. Not hating. Take the chances you have and run with it

  5. 2:30 He took spoon of some green shit from blender, Try a bit and after dropped back exceeded amount to blender with his saliva and microbes which is around 10 billions in usual mouth. In some other video he was using his phone and after cut row meat. How about also to wear some hair net? Did anyone have seen video where he is really doing some cooking from start to end? I just would like to see his technic and if he follows hygiene rules.

  6. There are a few issues with Chef Flynn. Not as a person, but just little things that are not allowing him to break out on his own in the public eye.

    He often says “The Chefs he worked for” a one to two month stage at Alinea or Eleven Madison Park is not the same as working there for a year. So his peers in the culinary profession do not like hearing that from him.

    “If you haven’t worked here a year, you haven’t worked here a day. “ – Charlie Trotter

    He needs to address his marketing team. As long as he allows himself to be advertised as “The Justin Bieber of Cooking” he won’t be able to shed it. I want him to win because he loves food and the restaurant culture. But he needs to address that! in NYC the reason he is garnering so much attention for a 2-Star NY Times reviewed Restaurant is because of his age. The second he isn’t an under-21 chef people might not start to care.

    Also he tried to get my chef to mentor him. My chef let him down soft saying he was a little busy but he would do what he could to help. And gave him his phone number. He then told the kitchen it would be unfair to us to share his knowledge with Flynn and yet we are the ones busting our ass for him every single night. Knowledge must be earned.

    Which brings me to my last point. He was able to garner financial backing for a restaurant with no experience because his parents are loaded. So in this blue collar industry you can understand why a lot of people are sour to him. Some people are born rich some are born poor. He didn’t choose this but his gift is also his curse.

  7. I hear a lot of people making remarks as to how mature he is for his age with regard to both his attitude and his style of cuisine. I'm only 24 but have been working professionally in the kitchen for 10 years now and only see that as one, he was born into financial privilege so that style of food is what he was introduced at a young age; and two he worked with some of the greatest chefs in the country. However; he would jump around from restaurant to restaurant in short stints, never truly working for a chef. He always stayed in the stage phase and never had to truly bust his ass under a chef to garner true respect for what he is clearly passionate about. for those that are not versed in our field; doing short stints for acclaimed chefs is to very impressive. No chef, however acclaimed they may be, is going to turn away free labor unless they are a complete detriment to the kitchen. We can always use someone to turn artichoke hearts for free. It only becomes impressive to flaunt experience under chefs like Achatz, Hollingsworth, Boulud, Keller, and others if you have worked under them for years, or at a minimum one year. Unless you are a demi chef de parti for them you most likely are not getting paid and to bust your ass in some of the hardest kitchens under the best chefs for a minimum of one year shows true dedication to the craft. Everyone in this industry works the kind of shifts he works and the only reason people outside of the industry ooh and awe over his work ethic is because he is young. He never had to truly work for the financial backing that has received. With the kind of professional reviews, he receives its shows that he could have benefited from working under these chefs for extended periods of time. The hardest type of cuisine to execute ist the style he works under. It takes real skill to highlight the core qualities of incredible ingredients to let the shine. Most people think of it as simple food but it is far from it. It may be simple if the number of components but figuring out how to highlight an ingredient to its fullest potential takes the experience and mentorship that he frankly doesn't have. I know that it seems like I am completely shitting on him but I do admire the ethic he has towards food. I only know a handful of chefs that have the kind of love for food that he has. All the best chefs in the world have the kind of attitude towards food that he has, the just had to work their way up under some of the most difficult chefs in the most difficult kitchens in the world to receive the kind of acclaim he is receiving due to his age. This will fizzle out because he has not earned the kind of respect he needs to survive in the world he has thrust himself into. This industry is a very close-knit one, chefs rely on each other and form close relationships and he has already closed the doors to that essential part of this industry by jumping directly into owning a restaurant. I am not in his position; however, if he wants to become one of the greats, he should hire a new exec chef and sell his part of the restaurant to go back and work under some of the best chefs. It would demonstrate the maturity to these chefs and he could truly propel forward.

  8. Good Chef – my brother is top 50 restaurants in the world – but he HAS a life and personality. This dude is too young really talented but will end up hurting himself. Take a break and understand and realize you need to enjoy life and make the best of it.

  9. So play time for the spoiled rich is now opening a restaurant and playing chef? Once again the rich jump the line. Instead of learning a sweating out your craft mommy bought him his own place. 160 bucks to have a child make you dinner? Pretentious little fuck, isn't he?

  10. No offence to all what he is doing n what's happening to him .. no professional should do wht he did at ( 2.30 .. over rated 😎

  11. It is ashame that some would discount some because they are young. He seems to have years of experience. Spain was conquered by a 17 year old and the Shah of Persia was an emperor at 14, in this case 19 is a tad bit over the hill.

  12. Honestly regardless of his age or experience he has the most important thing of all


    He might not be a conventional chef or know the ropes of the hard kitchen life, blood sweat, pressure of becoming a line cook and that's ok in certain cases
    as long as I see passion and a hunger to strive I'm rooting for him

    He will be willing to learn if he has passion
    Although the commercial kitchen is the best place to learn it's not the only place to learn
    And him not having that doesn't mean he can't be the best one day

    Knowledge can be found everywhere

  13. Please use gloves when working with food. Germs are contagious . Mind you ,this all a good beginning for you , but please expose yourself to other countries and treval . You will learn allot and how to makes a variety of different dishes. It's not sorely about the money , It's about beginning cultures together.

  14. Holy fucking shit, well obviously when he started really young, I've always wanted to be a chef since I was really little, but damn I was fucking stupid degenerate idiot who didn't care about anything, I was always outside with friends and all so there is no excuses but I literally don't remember anything of my childhood, I don't remember anything psychologically important happening to me or important. I knew since a young age that I want to be a chef but I never gave a fuck about learning or anything, now I finished culinary high school and I don't know shit while this kid already put his mind into cooking when he was little

  15. He kinda looks like the less wrinkly version of Gordon Ramsey, but nicer…
    Most importantly…


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