Boston chef, cookbook author, and CEO Barbara Lynch will deliver the keynote speech at the Sawyer Business School Graduate Commencement Ceremony on May 21, 2016. 

A James Beard Award-winner, Lynch is considered one of Boston's top chefs and restaurateurs. She operates seven food-and-drink-related venues, as well as a foundation that provides programs for inner-city youth.

Early on in her career, Lynch worked with Todd English for several years at Michaela’s and Olives. Later, she traveled to Italy, where she learned about Italian cuisine. She brought her newfound knowledge back to Boston and became the executive chef at Galleria Italiana. Soon after, she received the Food & Wine's “Ten Best New Chefs in America” award.

In 1998, Barbara opened No. 9 Park in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. The restaurant was named one of the “Top 25 New Restaurants in America” by Bon Appétit, “Best New Restaurant” by Food & Wine, one of the "Top 50 Restaurants in America" by Travel and Leisure, and one of "America's Top 50 Restaurants" by Gourmet.

In 2003, she opened two new restaurants in the South End: B&G Oysters and The Butcher Shop. Shortly thereafter, Lynch launched her own catering company called Niche Catour, as well as Plum Produce and a demonstration kitchen and cookbook store called Stir.

In 2008, she opened a craft cocktail bar called Drink and an Italian restaurant called Sportello. In 2010, Lynch opened Menton, a fine dining restaurant that has received several accolades, including being named one of both Bon Appétit and Esquire magazines' "Best New Restaurants."