Lydia Shire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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."[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Connecticut and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, both of her parents were illustrators.[2] Shire began cooking as early as age four alongside her father. In 1971, she enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in London.[3] She considers Jasper White to be her mentor,[4][5] and "her best cook friend in the world."[6]

Career[edit]

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.[7]

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."[8] 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[9] - the Bostonian's first female chef.[10]

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.",[11][12]

She returned to Boston and in 1989 Biba "opened to great fanfare."[13] Biba closed after 9/11 and reopened as Excelsior Restaurant and Shire was hired as Executive Chef.[14]

In 1994, she opened Pignoli in the Copley Plaza.[15]

When Shire bought Locke-Ober with business partner Paul Licari in 2001, she became the historic restaurant's first female chef.[16] Jacky Robert was executive chef for two years beginning in 2001.[17] 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."[18]

Since then, she has opened Blue Sky at the Atlantic House Hotel in York Beach, Maine (closed in 2012), and Scampo in Boston’s Liberty Hotel – formerly the Charles Street Jail.[19]

Honors and awards[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Shire is married to former employee Uriel Pineda.[26] They lived in a restored farmhouse in Weston, Massachusetts.[27] Currently they live on Marlborough Street in the Back Bay.[28] She has three children with former husband Tom Shire,[29] 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.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Top of Mind: Lydia Shire
  2. ^ Chef Lydia Shire Dishes on Favorite Food Memories
  3. ^ Scampo About us Archived 2014-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Favorites Archived 2014-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Retrospective: Lydia Shire and Jasper White
  6. ^ Top of Mind: Lydia Shire
  7. ^ Scampo Archived 2014-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Scampo Archived 2014-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Great Chefs
  10. ^ Let Them Eat Duck Fat
  11. ^ Scampo Archived 2014-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Let Them Eat Duck Fat
  13. ^ Let Them Eat Duck Fat
  14. ^ Great Chefs
  15. ^ Scampo Archived 2014-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Let Them Eat Duck Fat
  17. ^ Chef Jacky Robert Archived 2014-11-11 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Locke Ober Leaves Legacy
  19. ^ Savor Nashville Archived 2014-10-24 at Archive.today
  20. ^ Scampo Archived 2014-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Scampo Archived 2014-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Scampo Archived 2014-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Scampo Archived 2014-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Scampo Archived 2014-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Great Chefs
  26. ^ Let Them Eat Duck Fat
  27. ^ Favorites Archived 2014-10-25 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Baskin, Karen (October 3, 2017). "Scampo's Lydia Shire doesn't mince words about dining scene". Boston Globe. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  29. ^ Great Chefs
  30. ^ [1]

External links[edit]