|Name Lydia Shire||Role Chef|
|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."
- Door to door lydia shire legendary boston chef restaurateur
- Lobster crisp in water chestnut flour by lydia shire
- Early life and education
- Honors and awards
- Personal life
Lobster crisp in water chestnut flour by lydia shire
Early life and education
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."
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.
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.",
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.
In 1994, she opened Pignoli in the Copley Plaza.
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.”
Honors and awards
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.