Barbara Lynch

by Afrida Zahin from San Diego, California in United States

125247Barbara Lynch in one of her many restaurantsbostonherald.comIn the 1960’s, Southern Boston was a highly unsafe environment to grow up in. The society was male dominated, therefore there was a minimal chance for women to shine. Their traditional roles were to fulfill household chores and raise kids. Barbara Lynch, is an exception among those women. She was born in a family with an abusive widowed mother and seven other siblings in 1964. Their financial state was so poor that she had to dropout of high school and get a job to support her family. The community Lynch lived in had several harmful effects as well. Her neighbour was a drug addict who got others addicted by selling them drugs, including her sister. As a child, she unknowingly sold pot to people in the neighbourhood. Despite these obstacles, she reached the peak of her success and went further in life. Barbara Lynch, a successful chef and mentor to other women, overcame a horrible childhood to achieve her goals in life, because of her caring nature and determination.

125256Barbara Lynch with Kristen Kish and Stephanie Cmarluxandconcord.comBarbara Lynch’s care for others is clearly visible through her effort to support other people’s success. She always wanted the best for everybody which is evident when, “In 2012, Lynch pushed two young chefs from her restaurant group, Kristen Kish and Stephanie Cmar, to compete on 'Top Chef.' Their absence would gut Lynch's demonstration kitchen, but she shoved them out the door anyway, guaranteeing their jobs when they returned” (Hanel). Lynch depicts her selfless care and compassion for her employees when she allows them to go pursue their dream even though it caused her more hard work. This sacrifice shows a lot about Lynch’s character and how she is a role model for other successful chefs around the country. She stands out the most because in today’s world many businessmen are selfish and refuse to provide help for others. In the past, Lynch has been asked, “Do you hire people from your old neighborhood?”, she replied, “I have. At Sportello, which is minutes from where I grew up, I have two servers and a line cook, all of whom happened to have grown up in Southie or Dorchester. I get people from all over applying for jobs, and we hire whoever is a great fit and hungry to learn” (Rifkin). Lynch’s childhood is a part of her dark past that she wanted to get out of in order to pursue a better life. Although Lynch has been treated poorly by her neighbors, she didn’t forget about them. She still cares for the people she grew up with, which is demonstrated by her providing them with jobs and guidance. She wants her companions to achieve the same success in life that she did and help them move forward. Lynch’s caring nature is one of her many characteristics that sets her apart from other people.  

125261Barbara Lynch childhood picture with her siblingsirishamerica.comAnother characteristic that makes Lynch unique is her strong determination. Lynch was a victim of a terrible incident in her childhood when, “ [...] she was raped by strangers when she was 7 years old. Speaking publicly about the rape was cathartic, Lynch said. She had bottled up the trauma for almost 50 years. ‘It’s never going to go away, but it’s not going to run my life anymore,’ Lynch said. ‘I feel freer’” (Fleming). Lynch grew up in a risky neighborhood where she encountered a traumatic incident that left a scar on her for life. However, she is strong enough to not let one tragic event shape her whole life. Instead she fought back and worked harder and harder everyday to be where she is today. Deep inside Lynch knew that she deserved a worthier life and determination got her there. This not only inspires her employees but also speaks out to those who are coping with tragic losses and childhood traumas. Lynch’s first job wasn’t favorable for her however, “she survived, persisted and opened her first restaurant as chef and an owner, No. 9 Park, in 1998” (Moskin). In the male dominated society of the 1960’s it was hard enough for a woman to step out of the house and chase her dreams. Same was the case for Barbara Lynch, who faced sexism in the workplace and was made to believe that her success was impossible. With no prior experience and minimal knowledge, yet she proved them wrong and opened her dream restaurant. Determination can turn anyone’s dream into reality as evident in Barbara Lynch’s life story. Her journey to success was unstoppable because of her determined personality and she truly serves as an idol for women across the country.

Overall, Barbara Lynch’s care for others and determination makes her unique and proves that she is a true hero. She had many negative influences such as drug addicts, abusive mother etc around her while growing up but nothing could come in her way of constructing a better life for herself. She always hoped that things could improve overtime no matter what the problem was. Her hard work resulted in her success and her journey inspires a lot of women because she originated from rough beginnings such as poverty, lack of opportunity for education etc but ended up with an amazing life. Her struggle gives women strength and perseverance to achieve their dreams and go further in life.

Work Cited

Fleming, Nicole. “Chef Barbara Lynch Lays It All on the Table in Her New Memoir.”, The Boston Globe, 10 Apr. 2017, ble-in-her-new-memoir.

Hanel, Marnie. "A Woman's Place Is Running the Kitchen." The New York Times Magazine, 30 Mar. 2014, p. 40(L). Biography In Context, Accessed 10 May 2018.

Moskin, Julia. "Cooking Got Her Out, and Brought Her Back." New York Times, 19 Apr. 2017, p. D2L). Biography In Context, Accessed 13 May 2018.

Rifkin, Glenn. "After South Boston, a restaurant was easy." New York Times, 5 Jan. 2012, p. B5(L). Biography In Context, Accessed 14 May 2018.


Page created on 5/25/2018 6:42:54 PM

Last edited 5/28/2018 4:05:56 PM

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