James Beard Award-winner Barbara Lynch is regarded as one of Bostons, and the countrys, leading chefs and restaurateurs. While growing up in South Boston, Barbara, at the age of 13, got her first kitchen job cooking at a local rectory. It was in high school, however, that an influential home economics teacher and a job working with Chef Mario Bonello at Bostons esteemed St. Botolph Club piqued her interest in one day becoming a professional chef. During her early twenties, Barbara worked under some of Bostons greatest culinary talents including Chef Todd English, first at Michaelas then at Olives and later Figs. After working with Todd for several years, Barbara traveled to Italy where she learned about Italian cuisine firsthand from local women. She returned to Boston and became the executive chef at Galleria Italiana, bringing national acclaim to the tiny trattoria when she captured Food & Wines Ten Best New Chefs in America award.
In 1998, Barbara opened a restaurant of her own, No. 9 Park, in Bostons Beacon Hill neighborhood. The restaurant immediately received rave reviews from publications around the country and was named one of the Top 25 New Restaurants in America by Bon Apptit and Best New Restaurant by Food & Wine.
Barbara expanded her presence in Boston by opening two restaurants in the South End in 2003: B&G Oysters, serving exquisitely fresh oysters and New England classics, and The Butcher Shop, a wine bar and full service butcher shop. Barbara continued to grow her culinary empire by opening three unique concepts in succession: In 2005, Niche Catour, a catering company; Plum Produce in September 2006, and next door, Stir, a demonstration kitchen and cookbook store in 2007.
In fall 2008 Barbara launched two concepts in Bostons Fort Point neighborhood: Drink, a bar dedicated to the craft of the cocktail, and Sportello (Italian for counter service), Barbaras modern interpretation of a diner. Her catering company, 9 at Home (formerly Niche Catour), relocated to Fort Point in 2008 as well. In spring 2010 Barbara and her team opened the eagerly anticipated third concept in Bostons Fort Point neighborhood, Menton, a fine dining restaurant. Menton has received several accolades, including being named one of Bon Apptit and Esquire magazines best new restaurants in 2010, being nominated as a James Beard Foundation Awards 2011 finalist for Best New Restaurant, and a 4 star review from The Boston Globe. In 2012, Mentons reputation as a culinary destination earned the restaurant AAAs Five Diamond Award and Forbes Travel Guides Five-Star Award. Menton is the first and only Relais & Chteaux Property in Boston, and Barbara is the only female in the United States to hold the distinguished title of Grand Chef Relais & Chteaux.
Barbaras talents have continued to garner numerous accolades over the years, both locally and nationally. In 2003, The James Beard Foundation named her Best Chef Northeast and Travel & Leisure proclaimed No. 9 Park one of the Top 50 Restaurants in America. For two consecutive years, No. 9 Park was named Best Restaurant, General Excellence by Boston Magazine and Gourmet included it as one of Americas Top 50 Restaurants in 2006. In 2007, Boston Magazine named Barbara Best Chef.
Barbara and her recipes have been featured in many publications including Saveur, Boston Common, Bon Apptitt, The New York Times, and Inc. magazine. She was one of a handful of Bostonians to be profiled in the ABC-TV documentary series Boston 24/7 and is the subject of a documentary film entitled Amuse BoucheA Chefs Tale.
In 2009, Barbara was honored to receive the Crittenton Womens Unions Amelia Earhart Award. Past recipients include Doris Kearns Goodwin and Julia Child. She is also a member of distinguished industry organizations including the Bocuse dOr USAs Culinary Council, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, and Les Matres Cuisiniers. Women Chefs & Restaurateurs presented her with the 2011 Barbara Tropp Presidents Award. As a member of the Bocuse dOr USA Culinary Council, Barbara judged the Bocuse dOr Commis and Finalist Competition in 2012. Because of her unique story and entrepreneurial insight, Barbara has had the privilege of participating as a panelist and speaker at events including The Ad Clubs Women in Leadership Forum, the Massachusetts Conference for Women, and Women Chefs & Restaurateurs National Conference.
Barbaras first cookbook, Stir: Mixing It Up in The Italian Tradition, was published by Houghton Mifflin in fall 2009 and immediately earned praise from both media and home cooks and received a prestigious Gourmand award for Best Chef Cookbook for the US.
As the CEO of Barbara Lynch Gruppo, Barbara oversees the operations of eight concepts and employs over 200 people. In addition to running her company, each year she dedicates time and resources to several neighborhood organizations around the city of Boston as well as a number of local and national philanthropic missions. In 2011, she and the Gruppo team launched an initiative dedicated to cultivating healthy, sustainable eating habits through hands-on learning ingardens and classrooms at Bostons at-risk schools.
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