America’s next top chef is young.
At 13 years old, Greg Grossman is about the same age as a ‘96 Bordeaux. But the kid who’s been cooking since he was seven and catering since he was 11 is probably more desirable by your table than even the best vintage wine.
But don’t get caught up with his youth, because this kid is on the cutting edge.
“I decided I don't want to play up my age because I don't want everyone to think like, you know, that I think I'm the best -- that I'm this stuck-up kid who thinks he's the best chef in the world. I'm not stuck-up at all," Grossman told the Chicago Tribune as he wowed food industry pros with his cooking demos at the National Restaurant Association Show.
For the boy wonder of the food world, this yearly Chicago event was his coming out party. He spent his time there showing off new dishes like Tawny Port jam and sake foam nd yogurt ice cream with black sesame.
Grossman, who dabbles in molecular gastronomy, has a cooking show and a book in the works, and a standing invitation to work with top chefs like Chicago’s Grant Achatz, of Alinea, and Eric Ripert, of La Bernadin in New York.
“I have an open invitation to shadow him at [the acclaimed chef's New York culinary palace] Le Bernardin,” he said. “And I'm going to spend time in the kitchen at Mini Bar in D.C. soon -- you know, at Jose Andres' place?"
The native Long Islander has no classic training, just a wealthy upbringing that allowed him to sample the most exquisite fare from an early age.
“No, I got into cooking just because I ate at so many good places and I would come home and try to re-create it. But I read a lot of food books and I watch some Food Network. But mostly, I am just entirely self-taught."
While Grossman shops his book and his TV show and glad hands with other celebrity chefs he is applying to cooking schools and running a catering business. And if you want to taste his stuff, you may want to throw a party because Grossman is still a catering bargain.
“I don't charge enough. I've been taken advantage of, I think. I would charge like $150 on average, and other people are asking like $2,000! Which is a lot of money, but I'm not marking up food at all. People are like, 'How much will you take?' "