One of Boston’s most respected and beloved wine experts, Cat Silirie brings over two decades of experience to the position of Executive Wine Director and Wine Buyer for the Barbara Lynch Collective, which includes Boston’s acclaimed No. 9 Park, B&G Oysters, The Butcher Shop, Stir, Menton, Sportello, and Drink.
The synergy between Chef Barbara Lynch and Cat is the result of the relationship the two have shared for over 20 years as friends, colleagues, and collaborators.
Known for her passionate interest in all aspects of wine making and viticulture and her poetic descriptions of the wines themselves, Cat has been described by The New York Times’ Kay Rentschler as “Boston’s pre-eminent sommelier,” while Bon Appetit declared Cat “one of the country’s best sommeliers.” In 2003, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR) named Cat as the recipient of the WCR Golden Goblet Service Award: Recognizing Excellence in the Beverage Profession.
Cat’s approach to the wine program at each Barbara Lynch concept revolves around three missions: to create symphonious pairings with the cuisine, to seek out the finest small grower and artisanal wine producers, and to mentor and train the servers and management. Cat’s longtime motto, “10 sommeliers are better than one” is reflected each evening in service when staff across the company use the knowledge she imparts in daily pre-shift meetings to relate to wine in their own distinctive way. Food & Wine named Cat one of their Top Sommeliers of 2011, writing, “Her beautiful wine collection at Menton… combined with the tireless staff training and tastings, creates a remarkable wine experience for diners.”
In May 2012, Cat’s tireless efforts earned the James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Wine Program” at No. 9 Park. This recognition is a testament to the program Cat has built based upon a culture of sharing, tasting, and education meant to empower and inspire every server, as well as enrich the experience of each guest.
Cat has been profiled in numerous local and national publications including Food & Wine, Food Arts, Details, Wine & Spirits Magazine, and The Boston Globe, and her wine programs have received accolades around the city and beyond. In 2011, Wine Enthusiast Magazine proclaimed Menton to be among the “100 Best Wine Restaurants” in America. The Butcher Shop has been recognized multiple times by The Improper Bostonian as the “Best Wine Bar” and Food & Wine praised the wine program at The Butcher Shop writing, “The exceptional wine menu by Cat Silirie is strong on small, organic producers from France and Italy”. In 2010, Devra First of The Boston Globe noted the wine list at Menton, Boston’s first and only Relais & Châteaux Property, has “transcendent pairings with every course”.
As part of the Barbara Lynch Collective's wine programs, Cat developed a portfolio of proprietary wines made exclusively by some of the country’s (and world’s) most talented winemakers for each of the restaurants. The private labels are an outgrowth of mutual admiration and the desire for collaboration. The winemakers include Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat in Santa Barbara County, Bob Lindquist of Qupé Wine Cellars in Santa Maria, California, Gernot Heinrich of Heinrich in Gols, Burgenland, Austria, Fred Loimer of Loimer in Langenlois, Austria, and, David Hirsch of Hirsch Vineyards on California’s Sonoma Coast.