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Out of Line : A Life of Playing with Fire

     by Lynch, Barbara

Out of Line : A Life of Playing with Fire

As a teenager, Boston chef Barbara Lynch stole a city bus just to see if she could do it. (She could.) Lynch grew up pushing boundaries in her poor south Boston neighborhood, often just to see what would happen. Her ambition and affinity for risk-taking carried her around the world from her Southie roots, fueling a career that has been marked by leaps of faith that have resulted both in failures and successes. Lynch has an insatiable culinary curiosity that has served her well, garnering her numerous awards and accolades, and readers get a front-row seat to her chaotic life in her memoir. 

Lynch's passion for life and food shines through in her memoir. The book is part love letter to food and part cautionary tale about a misspent youth, all wound together in a sometimes frenetic but always entertaining rollercoaster ride through Lynch's rocky childhood and into her meteoric rise to celebrity chef. From stealing credit cards to fund boozy spring break trips as a teenager to winning the James Beard Award, Lynch pulls no punches while narrating the ups and downs of her life. Her brutal honesty and self-deprecating, tongue-in-cheek outlook on the fame her culinary accomplishments have brought her will appeal to readers who enjoyed Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential or Julie Powell's Julie and Julia.

Reviewed by ba, 06/17. Other reviews by ba.