Establishments: No. 9 Park; B&G Oysters; The Butcher Shop; Plum Produce; Stir; Drink; Sportello; 9 at Home; Menton
What She's Done: Barbara Lynch has turned her passion for cooking into an empire of highly regarded Boston restaurants—most of them celebrating the intersection of Italian ingredients and French technique. Lynch, 46, opened her first restaurant, No. 9 Park, in 1998. She's been ahead of the curve ever since, from raw bars and handmade charcuterie to handcrafted cocktails and casual pastas and panini.
Why We Like Her: From growing up in the projects of South Boston and cooking at a church rectory, Lynch has become the ultimate restaurant impresario, surrounding herself with like-minded professionals who allow her to pursue her goals of developing and designing inventive menus, mentoring kitchen staff and creating a distinct vision for each of her projects.
How She Stays Inspired: "My staff constantly energizes me," says Lynch. "They are so dedicated, talented and passionate—every day I'm wowed by them." And the cooking studio, Stir, "is definitely a playground of sorts. I get to test recipes, teach and interact with guests and provide a training ground for our staff to shine on topics of their expertise whether it's American farmstead cheeses, craft beers or butchering."