LaPorte native is now executive chef of new Brooklyn restaurant

LaPorte native Garett McMahan on the job at Celestine in Brooklyn.

Garett with his aunt, Bonnie Timm, and his mom, Sigrid McMahan.


Celestine is located right under the Manhattan Bridge.

The restaurant sports imported blue tile and a copper top.

The menu cover.


The restaurant’s exterior.

Photos and information submitted by Bonnie Timm

Garett McMahan might have helped prepare your food once upon a time when he worked at the former Grapevine restaurant in rural LaPorte. Now he’s executive chef/manager of the new Celestine BK restaurant in Brooklyn, NY.

McMahan was born in LaPorte in 1978 and graduated from St. John’s Lutheran School, then New Prairie High School, said his proud aunt, Bonnie (McMahan) Timm of LaPorte. Working at Grapevine, he fell in love with the art of cuisine, Bonnie said. He went on to acquire his degree at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.

“From that point on he knew New York City was the place to be,” Bonnie said. “He ‘trailed’ at many restaurants in New York,  which is a way of working for free to show them what you have and to learn. He has worked under many popular chefs such as David Bouley at Bouley Baker,  Brian Bistrong at The Harrison, and Top Chef Season 1 winner, Harold Dieterle at Perilla.

“Our family has always called any restaurant where he works, ‘Garett’s Restaurant.’ Well,  ‘Garett’s Restaurant’ has now come to fruition, kind of! Garett was picked by a number of investors to be Executive Chef/Manager at their new restaurant called Celestine, which is located in the DUMBO region of Brooklyn. DUMBO stands for ‘Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass,’ which apparently has become a very popular area of Brooklyn.”

Bonnie and Garett’s mom, Sigrid McMahan, flew out to attend Celestine’s grand opening in October 2017. “It was super busy; a bit of a flurry,” Bonnie said. “We were treated like royalty by all of the staff and owners. It was very apparent that everyone just loves Garett.”

Garett’s father was Bonnie’s brother, the late Gary McMahan, who passed away of cancer last year. Bonnie has worked for many years at Parkison & Hinton CPAs in LaPorte. The late Al Hinton was her stepfather.

Heading to New York? Be sure to stop in at Celestine BK and give your regards to hometown boy, Garett! Meantime, visit the restaurant’s website,

4 Responses to “LaPorte native is now executive chef of new Brooklyn restaurant”

  1. LSM

    Nov 14. 2017

    I don’t know him but CONGRATULATIONS Garett!! Thank you for sharing this story and pictures. It is wonderful to read of great things happening!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Bonnie Timm

    Nov 14. 2017

    Awesome article Beth!! You did such a good job! I, along with our whole family appreciate getting Garett some well deserved attention!! Thank you so much!!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Robert Millet

    Nov 14. 2017

    Congratulations Garrett. Did not know you but I knew Bonnie’s family. Gary, Patrick and Cindy. And of course your Grandma Barb and Al.

    Reply to this comment
    • Bonnie Timm

      Nov 14. 2017

      Hi Bob, Nice to read your post. FYI that my brother Pat is back in LaPorte and would probably enjoy talking to you. Contact me at my office phone number. Thanks!!

      Reply to this comment

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