Barbara Lynch, Tom Brady, and More on Time 100

Notable Bostonians land among Pioneers, Leaders, and Titans on the influential list.
Barbara Lynch photo by Michael Prince provided

Barbara Lynch photo by Michael Prince provided

The annual list of Time magazine’s most influential people in the world is out today, and a per usual, it includes a handful of notable locals. Southie-born chef Barbara Lynch is the only culinarian to make the cut; she shares the spotlight with Tom Brady, Elizabeth Warren, Theo Epstein, and Harvard and MIT professor George Church, among other internationals luminaries.

Lynch, whose by-the-boostraps story of growing up in the South Boston projects is well-known (if not always well-phrased), is honored by Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi. “Barbara grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Boston, and decided to enter one of the most male-dominated fields in the world… She creates opportunities for herself, even when it seems like they do not exist,” Lakshmi writes. The chef is also a mentor, notably to young women, like Top Chef Season 10 winner Kristen Kish.

“She is a great teacher and a true provider—not just of glorious foods but of different spaces for people to flourish and grow in,” Lakshmi says.

Lynch calls the honor “humbling and gratifying.”

“I have truly experienced the American dream in building a company from the ground up that creates opportunities for passionate people devoted to the dining experience, where I can inspire, educate and contribute to my community. To be recognized for the hard work that went into achieving that dream is both humbling and gratifying,” Lynch says in a statement.

The James Beard Award-winning chef just released her first memoir, Out of Line; she’s taking on consulting projects, like Il Pesce at Eataly, in addition to the seven restaurants under the Barbara Lynch Gruppo umbrella; and she recently announced plans to transfer her company to her employees so she can develop new projects, including a women’s bank.

In his essay about Tom Brady, Brookline native Conan O’Brien says the Patriots quarterback “simply refused to be less than the best ever. With a monastic diet, intense training and a relentless, inspiring positivity, Tom built himself from the ground up.”

Geneticist George Church developed the methods for the first-ever genome sequence, and is one of the developers of a revolutionary gene editing tool called CRISPR.

“[T]o me, George seems… like a cross between Darwin and Santa,” writes Stephen Colbert. “Through planned evolution, using gene-editing tools like CRISPR, he offers humanity a bag of powerful potential gifts: the return of extinct species, biological synthetic fuels, data storage of unprecedented density, mapping the brain, the treatment of infectious and congenital disease, and the reversal of aging.”

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris writes of Elizabeth Warren, “In these tough times, [she] persists. And America’s hardworking families are lucky that she does.”

And Time had a Cubs fan reflect on Brookline native and Red Sox savior Theo Epstein.

“His vision helped end historic World Series droughts in both Chicago and Boston,” writes actor John Cusak. “[B]ut he recognizes that he’s also just another flawed human being, no better than anyone else. It’s an artful thing to thread that needle and wear it as a matter of common sense.”

Find the rest of the list—including profiles of Chance the Rapper, Ivanka Trump, and more—online now, and in the May issue of Time magazine.


Jacqueline Cain Associate Food Editor at Boston Magazine jcain@bostonmagazine.com