The two most challenging parts of adulthood are making sure you don’t die, and feeding yourself. Of course the easiest way to ensure the latter is to eat out for every meal, but that gets expensive. When your bank account is dying, it’s time to turn to the kitchen. We don’t know about you, but no victory in there is too small. Every time we successfully boil water is a good day in the books. That was until we realized there is such a thing as a child chef.
You wouldn’t think the two words go together, but shows like MasterChef Junior have validated this phenomenon. Here are some of the most baller child chefs out there who will most definitely make you feel like a total scrub in the kitchen.
1. Flynn McGarry
It’s not an exaggeration when we say Flynn McGarry accomplished more by age twelve than we have in our entire lives. This youngster first started to hone his knife skills at age ten. Shortly thereafter, McGarry started a supper club from his mom’s house in Studio City, California, called EUREKA. Each dining session hosted 20 guests, and included ten different courses. After mastering the art of the supper club, McGarry staged (a.k.a. was invited) to come work in the kitchen for several acclaimed restaurants, including Eleven Madison Park, Alinea, Next, and Modernist Cuisine. Almost all of these have had or currently have a Michelin star. Of course, McGarry continued the supper club while working. Eventually, EUREKA became a monthly pop-up hosted at BierBeisl in Beverly Hills, and also traveled across the country to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and NYC. He has been listed in Zagat’s 30 under 30 chefs of Los Angeles, and Time Magazine included him in their list of the top 25 most influential teens.
2. Sarah Lane
If there’s one thing Sarah Lane possesses in addition to her impressive culinary skills, it’s a standout personality. She entertained many during her tenure on the show MasterChef Junior, which she participated in at age nine. Sarah was thrown into the restaurant scene pretty early in life: her grandmother owned a restaurant, at which she started making appearances as a wee babe. Apparently she was taught how to make coffee when she was just four years old. While Sarah didn’t win MasterChef, she impressed Gordon Ramsay with her ability to make a perfect Beef Wellington. Since her time on the show, she participated in the LA Cookie Con in 2016 as a special guest.
3. Estie Kung
Estie Kung, a.k.a. Chef Estie was brought to the world’s attention when she starred in the new show, Man vs. Child: Chef Showdown, on the FYI Network this past year. Estie is currently eight years old, the youngest competitor ever on the show, and her favorite foods are steak tartare, caviar, and lobster, so you know her palate is way more refined than ours. Plus, she already knows how to make homemade pasta, is a star Girl Scout, and is already able to read at a 6th grade level. This little wunderkind is from Hollywood and started cooking when she was only three years old.
4. Greg Grossman
Greg Grossman is often called the Justin Bieber of the food world. Even if you aren’t a Belieber, you hear that and know this guy is good. So good, in fact, that he is unanimously considered a culinary prodigy by anyone he’s met. Grossman began his foray into the food scene by washing dishes at a local restaurant when he was eight years old. By age nine, he was asked to work on the line in said restaurant. Then, two years later, when he was only ten years old, he started his own catering service in the Hamptons. Wut. Even from a young age, Grossman’s passions lay in molecular gastronomy, and his idol was Ferrán Adrià of elBulli restaurant fame. He fancy. Grossman also worked in Alinea in Chicago with Grant Achatz, and received the first ever Martha Stewart Scholar Award in 2009. In 2015, Grossman became the executive chef at Georgica in The Hamptons, when he was only 18. Currently, he has his own restaurant called Oreya, which opened in June 2016 in Southampton.
5. Logan Guleff
Logan Guleff is another child chef with a pretty impressive resume. He began cooking when he was just two years old, and started a food blog called “Order Up! With Logan,” when he was eight. Guleff then won his first cooking contest by the age of nine. The contest was hosted by JIF and Guleff won the prize for most creative sandwich, which got him a feature on The Today Show. It was all up from there. Logan continued to win contests, including the Epicurious Kid’s State Dinner Healthy Lunch Challenge in August 2012, which allowed him to meet and dine with President Obama and the First Lady. In 2014, Logan participated in MasterChef Junior, and won. The meal that sealed the deal for Logan was pretty extravagant, and consisted of saffron spot prawns, salt-crusted branzino, and Meyer lemon madeleines with berry compote and goat cheese mousse. We’d hire him to be our personal chef, tbh.
6. Danielle McNerney
Danielle McNerney stated cooking at age four and considers herself a self-made chef. She is known for her healthy yet delicious meals, which she started crafting after her mother was diagnosed with Merkel cell carcinoma. The family needed to convert to healthy, organic foods, and Danielle took on the challenge. Danielle won the California Strawberry Commission’s #KidsCookOff recipe competition with a strawberry basil quinoa salad. In December 2015, Danielle competed on NBC’s show Food Fighters, where she went head-to-head with renowned cake master Duff Goldman.
7. Nathan Odom
Nathan Odom got into cooking around the age of ten when he started attending cooking classes as part of the Scratch Culinary Education Program in San Diego, California. As part of this curriculum, Nathan helped prepare a three-course meal at a local restaurant for the public. About two years later, after Nathan’s passion for cooking began to marinate, he tried out for MasterChef Junior. Nathan ended up winning season three. San Diego was pretty happy about this, and The City Council officially deemed March 17 “Nathan Odom Day.” Currently, Nathan is thirteen years old and serving as the judge for cooking competitions and the like.