Chef Flynn McGarry just opened his first permanent restaurant in NYC. He named the establishment “Gem” which is his mother’s first name spelled backward. A documentary chronicling his culinary journey debut at Sundance last month. It was in 2012 when I first learned about Chef Flynn’s Los Angeles pop-up Eureka – a venture he started at the age of 11. Chef Flynn is 19 years old.
Most pop-up and dining clubs do not disclose venues until after guests register and fulfill payment obligation. The events could be held adjacent to a lake or ranch, far away from the city, as some endeavor to promote the farm-to-table movement. These clubs are not conventiclers, of course not. I just prefer my dining experience with as little “unknown” as possible. For many years pop-up dining was too adventurous for me.
Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) was the reason I attended my first event last September; the city’s tremendous gentrification project ought to re-focus on assisting the homeless. At an old apartment equipped with a state-of-art kitchen, Chef Angelica of Corinth House served her vegan Fancy Brunch to 40 guests who dined in a communal setting. After savoring caramelized carrot soup, kale salad, and southern plate with tofu scramble, Hoppin’ John, and hushpuppies, the attendees received freshly brewed Taiwanese milk oolong, also known as Jin Xuan Tea (金萱茶), paired with rice pudding. The two numbers associated with Jin Xuan are 12 and 27, #12 being the official Tea Research and Extension Station (TRES).
It is best not to attend a pop-up alone. I was glad that my friend Jane joined me for my very first event.