Letter: Missing the light that was Lynn Mahan

I was saddened to see the obituary for Lynn Mahan last week. When the paper came out, I began receiving calls from old restaurant friends who had read of Lynn’s passing. All of these people feel the sorrow of losing her so young to cancer.

In restaurants, there are kitchen people and front-of-the-house people. Front-of-the-house people like to interact and have fun with the public. Kitchen people like to work their magic to perfection without the eyes of the public on them. Lynn and Richard were both amazing chefs and ran the kitchens at several well-known restaurants.

I worked with them at the Inn at Little Washington, Leathercoat in the The Plains and the Blue Rock, spanning 12 years or more. At one point, they ran their own restaurant in Front Royal called Oliver’s, named after Lynn’s son.

During those times together, I knew I could recommend to diners anything they created, as all dishes would surpass their wildest expectations. I’m sure many readers enjoyed their masterpieces but, unfortunately, may never have known them. They deserved more credit than they ever received.

When they moved to Hawaii, I was so happy they were following their dream. Lynn stopped the long, crazy hours as a remarkable pastry chef and pursued her love of plants. I have treasures to remind me of Lynn. Besides a lovely wine cluster pin they brought back from Paris when I was their sommelier, I arrived at our real estate office one day to find lots of their house plants . . . treasures! Lynn knew our lighting was bright but not direct sunlight, and would suit her plants. I was so happy to be trusted with them! I’m happy to say all but a Christmas cactus have survived after nine years.

My saddest condolences go to her loving husband Richard and son, Oliver. We have all lost a wonderful light in our lives.

Kaye Kohler

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