Out of line:
a life of playing with fire
The funny, fierce, and poignant memoir of Barbara Lynch.
World-renowned chef and restaurateur Barbara Lynch recounts her rise from a hard-knocks South Boston childhood to culinary stardom.
Lynch credits the defiant spirit of her upbringing in tough, poor "Southie," a neighborhood ruled by the notorious Whitey Bulger gang, with helping her bluff her way into her first professional cooking jobs and develop a distinct culinary style through instinct and sheer moxie. She now oversees seven celebrated restaurants ranging from a casual but elegant "clam shack" to Boston's epitome of modern haute cuisine.
One of seven children born to an overworked single mother, Lynch was raised in a housing project. She earned a daredevil reputation for boosting anything on four wheels (even a city bus), petty theft, drinking and doing drugs, and narrowly escaping arrest—haunted all the while by a painful buried trauma.
Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire describes Lynch's remarkable process of self-invention, including her encounters with colorful characters of the food world, and vividly evokes the magic of creation in the kitchen. It is also a love letter to South Boston and its vanishing culture.