Meet Lydia Burns, The Cheese Maven

Consulting with the Rogers Collection team as self-titled Cheese Maven for Education & Outreach, a quirky but apt title (maven means ‘connoisseur’ or ‘expert’) that steers away from the stuffy and scholarly to instead embody her adventurous, open-minded approach to life and educating. (More on the maven mission in a moment!)

Some other “yeses” in Lydia’s life include many years of professional theatre performance, living and working on a biodynamic farm in New Zealand, degrees in Art History and History of Philosophy and Science–the former of which led her to Amsterdam where she fell in love with cheese– and a decade and a half working at some of the most esteemed gourmet shops in New York City and Chicago, notably a six-year run at Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine in Chicago as Senior Manager of Procurement and three years at Marion Street Cheese Market as Director of Wholesale Cheese Program. These gigs allowed Lydia–as she fondly puts it– “to schlep cheese all over the city to some of the best restaurants around.”

Lydia’s time at these shops also brought her well beyond New York City and Chicago to international trade shows where she met and made friendships with many people, including Carrie Blakeman, managing director here at Rogers Collection, in 2015 at Tuttofood, an Italian international trade show in Milan. Lydia was a hosted buyer and Carrie invited all the American buyers on a day trip to Parma to visit two producers Rogers Collection represents, Pio Tosini (Prosciutto di Parma) and Valserena (Parmigiano Reggiano Solo di Bruna).

To read the rest of the story, please go to: Rogers Collection