Doctor of Public Service
Barbara Lynch is one of the country’s leading chefs and restaurateurs. As CEO of Barbara Lynch Gruppo, she employs more than 200 professionals and oversees the operations of eight properties devoted to the art of fine dining.
Lynch has built on her success to give back to the community through philanthropy and a variety of activities to promote women as leaders.
In 2012, she established the Barbara Lynch Foundation, dedicated to helping Boston’s communities create healthy and inspired futures for its youth through programs to build leadership, life skills, and access to nutritious foods. Among its initiatives is Meet the Worms!, which engages children in activities that teach the value of nutrition, exercise, and community involvement.
As a woman who has achieved singular success in a profession traditionally dominated by men, Lynch has devoted great energy to fostering women in leadership roles. She created Full Plate, a mentoring series featuring professional women sharing their stories of challenges met and adversity overcome.
The story of Lynch’s path to the top of her profession is as compelling as one of her signature dishes.
While growing up in South Boston, Lynch, at the age of 13, got her first kitchen job cooking at a local rectory. In high school, an influential home economics teacher and an experience working with Chef Mario Bonello piqued her interest in becoming a professional chef. By her early twenties, she was working with some of Boston’s greatest culinary talents.
Following a sojourn in Italy, where she learned about the cuisine from local cooks, Ms. Lynch became the executive chef at Galleria Italiana. She brought national acclaim to the trattoria when she captured Food & Wine’s “Ten Best New Chefs in America” award.
That success inspired Ms. Lynch to open No. 9 Park, in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. The restaurant was named one of the “Top 25 New Restaurants in America” by Bon Appétit and “Best New Restaurant” by Food & Wine.
In the decade following, Ms. Lynch opened a variety of new properties, or “concepts,” in Boston, all with a characteristically creative approach.
In 2010, she and her team created the signature property, Menton. It received prized recognition from Relais & Châteaux, a global mark of excellence in the restaurant world. Menton is the only Relais & Châteaux property in Boston, and Lynch is currently the only woman in the United States to hold the distinguished title of Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux.
Lynch’s talents have earned her national recognition, including the Best Chef Northeast award from the James Beard Foundation in 2003, and the Women Chefs & Restaurateurs’ Barbara Tropp President’s Award in 2011.
Her first cookbook, Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition, received a prestigious Gourmand award for “Best Chef Cookbook” for the United States. She and her recipes have been featured in publications ranging from Bon Appétit to Inc. magazine, and on television programs such as Top Chef and Today.