American cooking prodigy Flynn McGarry will guest star on MasterChef Australia.
American cooking prodigy Flynn McGarry will guest star on MasterChef Australia. Channel 10

Teen chef Flynn McGarry drops in on MasterChef

THE current season of MasterChef Australia has featured some big names: Nigella Lawson, Marco Pierre White, Maggie Beer and Curtis Stone.

Before Heston Blumenthal is added to that list, there's a guest chef you've probably never heard of until recently.

Flynn McGarry is just 17 years old and he already has his own pop-up restaurant in New York City and has cooked for the Obamas at the White House.

The American teen, who has been nicknamed the Justin Bieber of food, will drop into the MasterChef kitchen tonight to present his signature dish beet Wellington for a pressure test.

"I've done a few talk shows but not much actual television, so this is my first time really judging anything," he told APN.

"It's very stressful to have that much responsibility over sending people home.

"It's interesting to have other people cooing a dish of mine. It has to be pretty difficult, obviously being a pressure test, and you feel bad that someone's going home from your own dish. But it's also really cool to see people successfully doing it."

At the age of 11 he began hosting supper clubs which he called Eureka (after the street where he used to live) in his parent's living room.

Flynn received his culinary training by staging and working at fine-dining restaurants in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Copenhagen and Oslo.

"What I'm doing is not normal (for people my age) but it's normal to me. Food is the only thing I want to do," he said.

The culinary wunderkind, who describes his cooking as progressive American, is also the subject of an upcoming documentary.

"That (label of progressive American) gives me a bit of freedom to use whatever ingredients or techniques I want," he said.

"The progressive part is about the fact that every week it's changing. It gives me the freedom to change what I'm doing in food.

"At the moment I'm into really enhancing vegetables and pulling as much flavour out of them as possible and presenting them in ways that look familiar but taste a lot different."

MasterChef airs tonight at 7.30pm on Channel 10.

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