Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire

It's unlikely that many James Beard Award-winning chefs can say they have prank-called Julia Child--but Barbara Lynch (Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition) can. Even better, she also impressed Child with her cooking.

In Out of Line: A Life of Playing with Fire, Lynch tells these stories and others, dishing on the forces that inspired her fierce independence and her journey into the food world. She sketches a hardscrabble childhood in her native South Boston. Among splintered memories and fractured limbs, she highlights the flavors and experiences that most deeply affected her as a lifelong Southie. Lynch reminisces about fried baloney sandwiches and even knuckle sandwiches served up by neighborhood friends, foes and family alike. Distaste for school led Lynch to spend her teen years adopting a surprisingly literal take on the classic Boston expression "wicked pissah." Yet she went on, without formal culinary training or a high school diploma, to build an epicurean empire.

This is the story of Lynch's passion for cooking, and other great loves of her life, but where Out of Line especially shines is in the writing on food itself. She writes evocatively about her signature dishes, such as her prune-stuffed gnocchi or delicately layered lasagnas, and as well of her first visit to Tuscany. Lynch also swears like a chef; one of her favorite adjectives for even a sophisticated meal is "kickass." And with her life itself on the menu this time, her approach mirrors her cooking: artful and bold. --Katie Weed, freelance writer and reviewer

Powered by: Xtenit