Jamie Lynch’s affinity for the high-octane kitchen life began when he was only 16 years old, working his first job as a dishwasher at a local bar and grill in a Massachusetts fishing town. He went on to attend the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont, and work at such culinary heavyweights as Aqua in San Francisco and Le Cirque 2000, Aureole, Café Boulud and Tocqueville in New York City.
Upon moving to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2002, Lynch worked at new American bistro Ethan’s, meeting farmer Sammy Koenigsberg of New Town Farms. “Seeing his produce, the chickens he was raising and the flavors he was cultivating from the earth just blew my mind,” Lynch recalls. “Before I knew it I was spending all my days off there to help. My attention shifted to the product and how it got to the plate.”
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. He has since garnered many accolades, such as Charlotte Magazine’s Best Chef award in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2016, Lynch served as a contestant on season 14 of “Top Chef” on Bravo.
His cuisine at 5Church speaks to the diversity of the restaurants’ owners and is a hybrid of flavors from all over the world tied together with traditional culinary techniques and a philosophy of showcasing the ingredients rather than overproducing them. With the opening of two more 5Church locations in Charleston, South Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia, he makes his mark in all three markets by offering both signature dishes as well as items that speak to each city’s geographical differences, from more meat-centric meals in Charlotte to a larger seafood selection in Charleston to playful, envelope-pushing dishes that reflect the unique cultural melting pot that is Atlanta.