Tuesday, August 20, 2019
‘Chef Flynn’ Looks at Precocious Cook
Chef Flynn composes elegant meals bursting with creativity. COURTESY: Will McGarry
Wednesday, January 23, 2019


If only movies came with smells…and tastes.

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts will screen “Chef Flynn,” a new documentary by Cameron Yates about the unusual childhood and meteoric rise of teen chef Flynn McGarry.

And chances are it’ll set your stomach to growling.

The movie will be screened at 4:30 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at Magic Lantern Cinemas in Ketchum.

Kristine Bretall, who arranged it as part of The Center’s current exhibition “At the Table: Kitchen at Home,” describes it as “one part food porn, one part home video, one part helicopter parent.”

McGarry spent his youth not playing with toy cars but creating gastronomic delights far beyond his years at his home in Studio City, Calif.

The reason? He had tired of his parents’ limited cooking repertoire and the takeout food they frequently brought home.

 He cooked through Thomas Keller’s “The French Laundry Cookbook” and picked up skills from YouTube videos. And he began home schooling in the seventh grade just so he could spend more time cooking.

 His mother, an artist and filmmaker, documented his unique journey as Flynn prepared elaborate dinners for  friends and family and established his own supper club at age 12, using his classmates as line cooks.

He was featured in a New York Times Magazine cover story at age 15. And by 16 he had challenged the hierarchy of the culinary world by staging in top restaurants in Los Angeles, New York and Europe, even as he had to weather critics who challenged his rapid ascent in the culinary world.

The film concludes as McGarry, who is now 20, is about to open his own restaurant in Manhattan. Gem features a 15-course menu created of items he picks out every day at the Union Square farmer’s market. The cost for a meal? $150-plus.

But it’s worth it, according to an August 2018 review by The New York Times, which complimented his cooking as “nuanced” and his plating as “lyrical.”

“When exploring the Kitchen as Home BIG IDEA, I thought about my own experiences cooking as a kid, making meals with and for my family,” said Bretall. “I think it’s safe to say that none of the dinners I prepared led to any 12-person tasting menus served at a pop-up restaurant in my home!”

The movie had its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and its International Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Tickets are $10 for Center members and $12 for nonmembers. They’re available at www.sunvalleycenter.org, by calling 208-726-9491 or at the Center’s box office at 191 Fifth Street East in Ketchum.


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