“I fell in love with the intense, high-octane kitchen life there,” he says. “That’s where it all started.”A New York native who spent many of his formative years in Massachusetts and Florida, Lynch moved to New Hampshire after graduating high school and began working at a from-scratch Mexican restaurant learning the nuances of cooking. After studying knife skills and how to approach different flavors, Lynch’s passion for food was solidified. “It was the only thing that came naturally to me, and that catapulted me into fine food and upscale kitchens.”
Lynch’s relationship with Charlotte’s sustainable farming community and the local dining culture grew from there, and in 2012 he accomplished his dream of starting his own restaurant with the opening of 5Church in the heart of Uptown Charlotte. Lynch has since garnered many accolades, such as Charlotte Magazine’s Best Chef award in 2013, 2014 and 2015.Lynch considers himself lucky to be part of the “eclectic bunch” of partners behind 5Church and uses this as inspiration for his food. “I don’t stick to one particular type of cuisine; it’s more of a hybrid of flavors from all over the world because it’s important to me that my menus speak to the diversity of our group,” he says. “I try to create dishes that excite the palate and are visually appealing, but I use traditional techniques to tie everything together.”With the opening of the other 5Church location in Charleston, South Carolina he makes his mark in a different markets by offering both signature dishes as well as items that speak to the city’s geographical differences, from more meat-centric meals in Charlotte to a larger seafood selection in Charleston. Catering to these local tendencies also enables Lynch to remain true to his philosophy of showcasing the ingredients rather than overproducing them
In his spare time, Lynch enjoys riding motorcycles and spending time with his 16-year-old son, who has grown up in 5Church’s kitchen and already displays a strong work ethic just like his father’s.