From stealing a school bus to running some of Boston's best restaurants.
By Barbara Lynch as told to Zagat Stories
Growing up in South Boston, Barbara Lynch took her first job in a kitchen at age 13. Determined to learn as much as she could about cooking, early work under Todd English, a tour of Italy, and an eventual return to Boston resulted in a series of increasingly accomplished and successful restaurants, including No. 9 Park and Sportello among others. Over the years she’s won almost too many accolades to count, including two James Beard awards among multiple nominations. Lynch’s current crown jewel is Menton, a Relais & Châteaux fine dining room in the Fort Point neighborhood. Despite a firm grip on the present and an eye toward her legacy, Lynch is most certainly a product of the road she’s traveled so far.
In reaction to the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Lynch’s representative sent this statement from her via email:
“In the restaurant industry, we are used to taking care of our community on a daily basis. To so suddenly have that taken away feels foreign. Needless to say, it has been an extremely challenging time, with so much unknown. Restaurants have had to shutter so we can do our part in halting the spread of COVID-19, and the uncertainty about what the future holds and when we will be able to re-open is frightening. But we will get through it together and come out stronger.
“It has been encouraging and inspiring to see Boston’s restaurant community rally together and support one another, from providing meals for furloughed restaurant staff, to joining forces in support relief funds such as the Restaurant Strong Fund, and so much more. Restaurants all over the city are also looking to the greater Boston community to help us stay afloat, whether that is purchasing a gift card or ordering delivery/takeout from local restaurants. At the Barbara Lynch Collective, we have begun to offer some of our classic dishes for takeout from The Butcher Shop, with all proceeds from takeout as well as all gift card sales going directly to support our staff.
“It is now more than ever that we must take action. We need to continue to lobby for financial support from Congress so that once we are through this pandemic, we are able to reopen quickly and take care of our guests the best way we know how—with warm hospitality and delicious food and drink.”