Synopses & Reviews
"How a working-class Irish girl from South Boston became a chef with a national reputation is one of those virtually unanswerable questions. But to watch Barbara Lynch as she mixes dough with her hands . . . is to see a young woman with the soul of an Italian grandmother." --Mark Bittman, New York Times Critics count Chef Barbara Lynch's food as some of the best in the country. Her handmade pasta is shamelessly silky, rivaling --some would say surpassing-- Italy's finest, melding effortlessly with her sauces. Some of her creations are more or less traditional, like the creamy Butcher Shop Bolognese (in this book, she reveals the secret ingredient that gives it special depth). Others are spectacularly original, like her Prune-Stuffed Gnocchi with Foie Gras Sauce, a dish so luxuriously light that it must be tasted to be believed. For all Lynch's culinary prowess, her roots are not in Italy but in her childhood in South Boston, one of the poorest, toughest enclaves of the nation, where she was raised by a single mother with seven children. She never went to cooking school. But in the unlikely environs of a high school home ec class, she "got high on that thing that drives all good cooks: the desire to please others by making them the food they love to eat." In Stir, Lynch's eagerly awaited first cookbook, you'll find plenty of food that you too will love to make and eat. The 150 recipes combine practical simplicity with charming sophistication, as in the easy finger-food appetizer Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Bites with Honey Mustard or the comforting pantry-staple dinner Rigatoni with Spicy Sausages and Cannellini Beans. Some break the rules when necessary to achieve deliciousness: pizza made with buttery-tender brioche dough, a spicy fresh clam sauce defying Italian custom with a dash of Parmesan. Every single one, from Baked Cheese and Tomatoes with Black Olive Crisps to the fanciful Winter Citrus with Cumin Meringue and Whipped Crème Fraîche, will make you and your guests lean back and sigh, "This is so good."
andquot;Well worth the waitandquot;
andmdash; Tom Colicchio
andquot;The core of Stir is the story of a woman who saved herself from a dead-end life with the power of cooking. Any chef who goes from stealing buses to creating some of the best food on the eastern seaboard is someone I always want to hear from. Distinctive dishes, generous spirit, and a genuine cook are all bound up in this wonderful book.andquot;
andmdash; Michael Ruhlman, author, Ratio
andquot;In the American culinary stratosphere, Barb Lynch stands out as a national treasure. Stir gives the home chef her cooking keys and secrets to the kitchen kingdom.andquot;
andmdash; Art Smith, James Beard Award-winning chef and best-selling author
andquot;To look inside this book is akin to looking into the soul of one of America's greatest chefs. Though Barbara Lynch's food is contemporary and smart, it's refreshing to see that her cuisine is remarkably grounded. There is so much of this that I can't wait to cookandquot;
andmdash; John Besh, Chef/Owner Besh Restaurant Group, New Orleans
andquot;Honest and straightforward, Stir will be your new best friend in the kitchen.andquot;
andmdash; Nancy Oakes, chef-owner, Boulevard
andquot;I didn't think it would be possible to capture all that is bold, brash, ballsy, and Bostonian about Barbara Lynch on paper but somehow she has done it! I love this book!andquot;
andmdash;Suzanne Goin, chef-owner Luques
andquot;Barbara Lynch's first cookbook was well worth the wait. Her grit, drive, and signature good humor shine through in this collection of elegant, user-friendly recipes.andquot;
andmdash; Tom Colicchio, Chef-Owner of The Craft Restaurants
andquot;[Lynch] has mastered her art, and the results are evident in this gorgeous, mouth-watering book...andquot;
andquot;...gutsy and sophisticated...Lynch's refreshing point of view covers every page.andquot; andmdash;Tasting Table
andquot;At long last, Barbara Lynch ... has written the cookbook her admirers have been waiting for. Her contemporary French/Italian food is refined but approachable.andquot; andmdash;Fine Cooking
Although Barbara Lynch was born and raised in South Boston, not Tuscany, many critics believe her food rivals the best of Italy. It has been praised by Bon Appandeacute;tit, Food and Wine, and Gourmet, and many more.
Lynchandrsquo;s cuisine is all the more remarkable because it is self-taught. In a story straight out of Good Will Hunting, she grew up in the turbulent projects of andldquo;Southie,andrdquo; where petty crime was the only viable way to make a living. But in a home ec class in high school, she discovered her passion. Through a mix of hunger for knowledge, hard work, and raw smarts, she gradually created her own distinctive style of cooking, mining Italian and French classics for ideas and seasoning them with imagination.
The 150 recipes in Stir combine sophistication with practicality. Appetizers like baked tomatoes and cheese and crisp, buttery brioche pizzas. Dozens of the artful pastas Lynch is famous for, such as little lasagnas with chicken meatballs, and potato gnocchi with peas and mushrooms. Lobster rolls with aandiuml;oli. Chicken wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed with melting Italian cheese. Creamy vanilla bread pudding with caramel sauce. Accompanied by Lynchandrsquo;s forthright opinions and stunning four-color photographs, these dishes will create a stir on home tables.
Although Lynch hails from South Boston, not Tuscany, many critics believe her food rivals the best of Italy. The 150 recipes in "Stir" combine sophistication with practicality. Full-color photos throughout.
About the Author
Barbara Lynch is the James Beard Award-winning chef-owner of Barbara Lynch Gruppo, which includes seven restaurants and food businesses in Boston: No. Nine Park, B and G Oyster, The Butcher Shop, Sportello, Plum, Drink, and Stir.