Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Lydia Shire

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Name  Lydia Shire

Role  Chef
Lydia Shire Top of Mind Lydia Shire Boston Magazine
Awards  James Beard Award for Best Chef: Northeast
Nominations  James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Chef

Door to door lydia shire legendary boston chef restaurateur

Lydia Shire (born 1948) is a Boston-based chef and restaurateur. She said of herself "If I weren’t a chef, well, I feel I’m the best butcher I’ve ever seen. …The hardest part of my job is managing people, and there are times when you have to say something to somebody that you really don’t want to. …That’s what I love about being a butcher: I’m just there with my big old dead animal on the board."


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Lobster crisp in water chestnut flour by lydia shire

Early life and education

Lydia Shire Lydia Shire and Scampo Cooking Techniques amp Recipes

Born in Connecticut and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, both of her parents were illustrators. Shire began cooking as early as age four alongside her father. In 1971, she enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in London. She considers Jasper White to be her mentor, and "her best cook friend in the world."


Lydia Shire Lydia Shire on Butchering amp Things That Drive Her Crazy

When she returned from London, she became a line cook at Jacky Robert's Maison Robert. Within three years, she became head chef in 1974.

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Shire went to work at Seasons in The Bostonian Hotel in 1982 which led to national recognition and a James Beard Foundation "awarded (her) the coveted “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage” award in 1984." It was here that she first met Jasper White. She worked under him as Executive Sous Chef and left, in 1985, as the Executive Chef - the Bostonian's first female chef.

In 1986, Shire went to Beverly Hills to open the Four Seasons hotel becoming the "first female Executive Chef in the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts Company to open a luxury property.",

Lydia Shire Chef Lydia Shire adds spice to inmate graduation ceremony The

She returned to Boston and in 1989 Biba "opened to great fanfare." Biba closed after 9/11 and reopened as Excelsior Restaurant and Shire was hired as Executive Chef.

Lydia Shire Door To Door Lydia Shire Legendary Boston Chef Restaurateur YouTube

In 1994, she opened Pignoli in the Copley Plaza.

Lydia Shire 10 Glorious Years At LockeOber by Lydia Shire Boston Herald

When Shire bought Locke-Ober with business partner Paul Licari in 2001, she became the historic restaurant's first female chef. Jacky Robert was executive chef for two years beginning in 2001. A ten-year lease was signed which they were unable to renew, forcing them to close. Shire was devastated, saying “They were for me 10 absolutely glorious years. Gourmet ranked us the 18th-best restaurant in the country, and named us to the 21 must-visit restaurants in your lifetime.”

Lydia Shire At home with chef Lydia Shire Bostoncom House Home Your Life

Since then, she has opened Blue Sky at the Atlantic House Hotel in York Beach, Maine, and Scampo in Boston’s Liberty Hotel – formerly the Charles Street Jail.

Honors and awards

  • 1984 the James Beard Foundation "awarded (her) the coveted “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage” award."
  • 1992, James Beard Foundation Award as “America’s Best Chef – Northeast.”
  • 1992 Food & Wine named Shire “One of America’s Top Ten Chefs.”
  • 1994 Shire "earned the prestigious Ivy Award by Restaurants & Institutions magazine"
  • 1996 The James Beard Foundation nominated her as “One of America’s Top Five Chefs"
  • 2013 Restaurant News inducted her into their Fine Dining Hall of Fame.
  • Personal life

    Shire is married to former employee Uriel Pineda. They live in a restored farmhouse in Weston, Massachusetts. She has three children with former husband Tom Shire, and a fourth child, Alex, with current husband Uriel Pineda. After cooking in restaurants in Spain, California and other locales, Alex Pineda now works as a chef with his mother at Scampo in Boston.


    Lydia Shire Wikipedia