Barbara LynchAn embodiment of the American dream, Barbara Lynch is the James Beard Award winning chef-owner of Barbara Lynch Gruppo in Boston, which includes: No. 9 Park, B & G Oysters, The Butcher Shop, Drink, Sportello, Stir, 9 at Home Catering and Menton.
Barbara grew up in South Boston and got her first cooking job at a local rectory at the age of 13. During high school, Barbara worked for chef Mario Bonello at Boston’s St. Botolph Club. In her early twenties, Barbara worked with Todd English at Michaela’s, Olives and then Figs. She traveled to Italy where she learned about Italian cuisine from local women. Upon returning to Boston, Barbara became the executive chef at Galleria Italiana, where she earned the Best New Chef honor from Food & Wine. Barbara opened her first restaurant, No. 9 Park, in Boston’s Beacon Hill area in 1998. On the heels of her success with No. 9 Park, she continued expanding her group with a new addition opening every few years. Her most recent restaurant, Menton, opened in 2010. Barbara’s first cookbook, Stir, Mixing it up in the Italian Tradition, was published in the fall of 2009.
In 2009, Barbara was honored to join Doris Kearns Goodwin and Julia Child as a recipient of the Crittenton Women’s Union’s Amelia Earhart Award. In 2011, she was named Distinguished Chef by Johnson and Wales University. She is also a member of notable industry organizations including Women Chefs & Restaurateurs and Les Maîtres Cuisiniers, the international association of Master Chefs. In 2011, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs presented her with the Barbara Tropp President’s Award. As a member of the Bocuse d’Or USA Culinary Council, Barbara judged the Bocuse d’Or 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 Club’s Women in Leadership Forum, the Massachusetts Conference for Women, and Women Chefs & Restaurateurs’ National Conference.
As CEO of Barbara Lynch Gruppo, Barbara oversees the operations of eight concepts and employs over 200 people. In addition to running her company, Barbara has always recognized the importance of giving back to the community and has been involved in a number of philanthropic programs over the years. In 2012, in an effort to make a more direct impact, she established the Barbara Lynch Foundation. The BLF is a charitable organization dedicated to helping Boston’s communities create healthy and inspired futures for its youth by providing leadership and support to build life skills, to improve access to nutritious foods, and to empower families. The first initiative of the BLF, Meet the Worms!, was established to teach children of the Blackstone Elementary School in Boston about the importance of nutrition, exercise, and community involvement. This pilot program engages the students, parents, teachers, and community partners in creative and innovative ways to bring about healthy eating habits, media literacy, and a broader worldview through hands-on learning in the garden and in the classroom.