Barbara Lynch and Out of Line


This past week I saw Barbara Lynch, the award-winning, Boston-based chef and restauranteur discuss her new book Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire with Ishan Gurdal, the founder and owner of Formaggio Kitchen.  The event was hosted by Harvard Bookstore and held at the Brattle Theatre and it was packed. Sold out with people standing in the back!

The conversation was heartbreakingly honest with tears and a lot of laughs and I came away from it (just like the first time I saw Barbara Lynch) totally in awe of this woman!


About her new book:

Blood, Bones, & Butter meets A Devil in the Kitchen in this funny, fierce, and poignant memoir by world-renowned chef, restaurateur, and Top Chef judge Barbara Lynch, recounting her rise from a hard-knocks South Boston childhood to culinary stardom.

Celebrated chef Barbara 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; develop a distinct culinary style through instinct and sheer moxie; then dare to found an empire of 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 vehicles (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 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, governed by Irish Catholic mothers and its own code of honor. Through her story, Lynch explores how the past—both what we strive to escape from and what we remain true to—can strengthen and expand who we are.



Bookstore Finds


Picked up these two beauties this week at Brookline Booksmith! Look at those gorgeous covers!

Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lúcio Cardoso, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa & Robin Patterson (Open Letter Books)

We Show What We Have Learned & Other Stories by Clare Beams (Lookout Books)

New: Union Square Donuts in Brookline!


Coolidge Corner just got even sweeter with the new addition of a Union Square Donuts! I’ve never been to the popular one in Somerville as it’s so far away but Brookline is on my side of town. I wandered over this past weekend and tried the Vietnamese coffee donut and the maple bacon donut—both were to die for. Check out this great article from Boston Magazine on the store’s opening.

Mamaleh’s Deli


There’s a new wave of Jewish delis popping up all over the Greater Boston area and I, for one, could not be any more excited about it! I visited Mamaleh’s in Cambridge this week with the “Grad School Gals” and had great deli fare. The Jewish Pu Pu Platter and Matzo Ball Soup were especially good. Check out some of the great Jewish deli-dishes the Boston area has to offer with this killer article “10 Standout Jewish-Deli Dishes Around Boston” from Boston Magazine. (Photo by Nir Landau)


Beyond Words: Italian Renaissance Books

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I visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum earlier this week to catch the exhibit Beyond Words: Italian Renaissance Books on its very last day! I loved the exhibit and if you ever have a chance to look at books from this period of time I’d highly recommend it. They are absolutely fascinating. I also took the chance to explore the museum, which is probably up there on my favorite museums/galleries list. The museum is strange and stunning and the variety of collections is perfect for anyone with wide-ranging interests in the arts.

More on the exhibit:

In the 1400s book production witnessed groundbreaking advances in design and technology that transformed pages from parchment (animal skin) to paper, script to font, and vividly colored illuminations to black and white prints. A surge in literacy and demand for books drove innovation. These radical changes did not occur instantly but through a gradual process of experimentation marked by notable leaps in achievement. Much like analogue and digital culture today, manuscripts and printed books co-existed for a long period serving different purposes and readers.”

“Boston’s 13 Must-Drink Mugs of Hot Chocolate”


December 1st seemed the perfect time to share this delicious list from Boston Magazine!

“Why settle for a cup of Swiss Miss at home when Boston’s best cafés and coffee shops each have brilliant twists on the classic cup of cocoa? From Flour’s spicy sipper, to Gracenote Coffee’s hedonistic craft chocolate, here are 13 decadent hot chocolates to sip around Boston this winter.”

Boston Exhibit: Unauthorized Shakespeare

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death the Boston Public Library is holding a “season of Shakespeare” with various exhibits, classes, book discussions, lectures, film series, and more! I ran across one of the main exhibitions this past weekend. The exhibit, Shakespeare Unauthorized, “pulls back the curtain on four hundred years of adaptation, collaboration, and deception and exposes the many layers of mystery surrounding the life and work of William Shakespeare.” The exhibit was incredible, featuring most importantly rare editions of Shakespeare’s work (including a first folio!)  The exhibit is on display until March 31st, 2017.  Want to see a full listing of the exhibits and events? It’s available here. Enjoy!


Boston’s Best New Restaurants 2016

Boston Magazine just released their annual list of the top new restaurants in Boston and two of my absolute favorite new places to eat made the list. The first, Ganko Ittetsu Ramen, I already featured on the blog (remember this glorious picture?) And the second is Chef Tiffani Faison’s new restaurant Tiger Mama which is a blend of Thai, Vietnamese, and Malaysian cuisine. Just a shout out to these two restaurants (and all of the others that have now been added to my “must-eat” list!)