Female Chefs And Restaurant Owners Are Heating Up The Massachusetts Restaurant Scene

As Massachusetts continues to build its reputation as a dining destination, many of its best known chefs, cookbook authors, and culinary influencers have been women of the Commonwealth. Where the role of executive chef was primarily held by men in the past, women are now taking charge in the kitchens of many well-known restaurants while also managing ownership responsibilities, book deals, appearances on national TV shows, sustainability projects, and more. In honor of Women’s History Month, coming in March, here are a few female chefs heating up Massachusetts restaurants.

Chefs to Watch

One of the best-known chefs in Massachusetts, Jody Adams, chef/owner at Rialto and Trade, has also had her time in the national spotlight as a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters. Over the course of her career, Adams has developed a reputation for combining local, New England ingredients with a passion for Italian culinary traditions and flavors. rialto-restaurant.com trade-boston.com

Jan Buhrman, executive chef at The Kitchen Porch in Martha’s Vineyard’s town of Chilmark, has been cooking locally sourced meals on the Vineyard for over twenty-five years. When she’s not in the kitchen creating new culinary masterpieces, she can be found sourcing ingredients from area farmers and fishermen or sharing her knowledge and passion through farm tours, cooking classes and nutritional seminars. Simple preparations of quality ingredients are what you will find in Buhrman’s dining room; a smoky Vineyard paella, Tuscan porchetta with salsa verde or a roasted fresh island chicken. kitchenporch.com

A Boston legend, Lydia Shire has trained many of the city’s best chefs and helped to pave the way for female chefs and restaurateurs. Her talents coveted from early on in her career, Shire made her mark across the US in places like Beverly Hills, where she opened the Four Seasons. Luckily for Massachusetts, Boston was always home and for Chef Shire the site of several restaurants throughout the years. As culinary director/owner at Towne Stove and Spirits and owner of Scampo, Shire’s creativity shines through in local tastes like eleven different lobster preparations (Towne Stove and Spirits) to the more exotic, a mozzarella bar and tandoori bread oven (Scampo). towneboston.com, scampoboston.com

South Boston native and CEO of the Barbara Lynch Gruppo Barbara Lynch has taken the Boston restaurant scene by storm with a mix of six restaurants, a cooking school, and a high-end catering company. From her fine-dining Beacon Hill spot No. 9 Park to South End oyster bar B & G Oysters to Menton, one of Boston’s most luxurious dining experiences, Lynch has created spaces and food for a variety of palates and occasions. barbaralynch.com

Eight years ago, Erin Zircher, executive chef at Cru Oyster Bar on Nantucket, moved to the island for a summer job and did what many people wish they could do; she stayed. The island is perfectly conducive to her love of creating dishes inspired by local, seasonal ingredients, especially fresh-caught fish. A visit to Nantucket requires a visit to Cru Oyster Bar for Chef Zircher’s meunière, a simple preparation of seasonal fish in brown butter and lemon, finished off with the addition of green beans and toasted hazelnuts. crunantucket.com

No trip to Boston is complete with a sweet treat from one of Flour Bakery’s three area locations. Headed up by Joanne Chang, pastry chef/owner, also owner of Pan-Asian restaurant Myers + Chang, Flour is a favorite for baked goods, both sweet and savory, and perhaps best-known for its sticky bun, the winner of a 2007 Throwdown with celebrity chef and TV personality Bobby Flay. flourbakery.com

About MOTT:
The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) is the state agency dedicated to promoting Massachusetts as a leisure-travel destination. An integral part of the state’s economy, tourism generates close to $1 billion in state and local taxes and $15.5 billion in travel related expenditures and supports 121,700 in-state jobs.

The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism’s “Ask a Local” iPhone application, now available on iTunes is an on-the-move guide provides travel information, “local” tips, and deals from Massachusetts’ hotels, attractions, restaurants, and shopping destinations. www.massvacation.com

For more information, contact:

Lisa Simmons, Director of Communications
Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
(617) 973-8508


Victoria Cimino, Public Relations Supervisor
Connelly Partners
Mobile # 617-470-8878; Office #617-521-5428