Barbara Lynch



Dedicated to the craft of storytelling

We believe that every great meal is born of a story—a tale that guides the lively give-and-take between lovely food, outstanding drink, delightful hospitality, and the people who come together to relish it all. 

The approach to culinary composition is inspired and guided by the foundational narrative of Chef Barbara Lynch. Hard work, unbridled creativity, a passion for discovery, and a love for genuine human connections drive all that we do. 

At every Collective restaurant, we take great pride and deep pleasure in creating tasteful and delicious experiences that pique the curiosity of our trusting guests comfortably—with stories that inspire consistently delicious, surprisingly innovative, uniquely modern, and quintessentially Boston dining.

Meet Chef Barbara Lynch

“My whole life I had to fight—to teach myself, to achieve, to prove what I could do.”

James Beard Award–winner and Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef Barbara Lynch is regarded as one of the world’s 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 Boston’s esteemed St. Botolph Club piqued her interest in one day becoming a professional chef. 

During her early twenties, Barbara worked under some of Boston’s greatest culinary talents. After working with Todd English for several years at both Michela’s and Olives, Barbara traveled to Italy where she learned about the country’s 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 & Wine's “Ten Best New Chefs in America” award.

In 1998, Barbara opened a restaurant of her own, No. 9 Park, in Boston’s 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 Appétit and “Best New Restaurant” by Food & Wine.

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Barbara expanded her presence in Boston by opening two restaurants in the South End in 2003: B&G Oysters, serving pristine 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 Stir, a demonstration kitchen and cookbook store, in the South End in 2007.

In the fall of 2008, Barbara launched two concepts in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood: Drink, a bar dedicated to the craft of the cocktail, and Sportello (Italian for “counter service”), her modern interpretation of a diner. In the spring of 2010, Barbara and her team opened an eagerly anticipated third concept—Menton, a fine dining restaurant—in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood. 

Menton has received numerous accolades since opening, including praise from both Bon Appétit and Esquire as one of the best new restaurants in 2010, a James Beard Foundation Award nomination for “Best New Restaurant,” and a four-star review from the Boston Globe. Menton is the only Relais & Châteaux property in Boston, and each year since 2012 it has been awarded AAA’s Five Diamond Award and Forbes Travel Guide’s Five-Star Award. Barbara is currently the only female in the United States to hold the distinguished title of Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux.

In the summer of 2017, Barbara partnered with fellow historic Boston brand, Boston Harbor Cruises, to elevate food and beverage options on the Boston Harbor Islands with her new company Salt Water, Inc.

Barbara’s talents have continued to garner praise over the years, both locally and nationally. In 2003, The James Beard Foundation named her “Best Chef Northeast,” and in 2007, Boston Magazine named Barbara “Best Chef.” In 2011, she was named Distinguished Chef by Johnson and Wales University. In addition, she was the recipient of the “Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR) Barbara Tropp President's Award.”

In 2013, Barbara was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, a prestigious group of the most accomplished food and beverage professionals in the country, and she also received an honorary doctorate in public service from Northeastern University in recognition of her culinary and philanthropic contributions. In 2014, Barbara received her second James Beard Foundation Award and named “Outstanding Restaurateur.” She is the second woman ever to receive this honor. In 2017, she was named to the TIME 100, Time Magazine’s annual list of the world’s most influential people.

Barbara's first cookbook, Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Fall 2009. Stir was received enthusiastically by both the media and home cooks and received a prestigious Gourmand award for “Best Chef Cookbook” for the United States. Barbara’s second book, her memoir, Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire, was published in April 2017.

Barbara is a member of several notable organizations including Women Chefs & Restaurateurs; Les Maîtres Cuisiniers, the international association of Master Chefs; and the Ment’Or (formerly Bocuse d’Or USA) Culinary Council.



Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire

Barbara Lynch tells all in her moving memoir


Stir: Mixing it Up in the Italian Tradition

Many believe Barbara’s food rivals the best of Italy, and now you can make it at home. 

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Food for Thought Magazine

A thoughtful collection of stories, happenings, recipes, and more.