This week, Ira spoke with Diana Brier, owner and director of cheese for Valley Cheese and Wine (and one of only 45 certified cheese sensory evaluators in the United States). In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, Brier talks about her journey to cheese; moving to Las Vegas and making her dream come true; why she is also studying to be a sommelier; how chocolate pairs nicely with cheese; why she pays homage to old world cheese while also touting new world cheese; how a different version of a cheese you dislike may actually train your palate to eventually like that cheese; and how some types of cheese have more protein than eggs!
Prior to working in the cheese industry, Brier found herself constantly questioning what type of career to pursue. She chose an eclectic education, studying everything from musical theater to business management, yet nothing ever felt quite right.
Post-college, Brier worked as a financial analyst in Salt Lake City, Utah when she flatlined after open heart surgery. The health scare gave her a new perspective on life, and from that moment on, she was only going to do what fueled her soul.
On a mission to figure out what exactly that was, she applied for a job with Whole Foods, where the opportunity to work in cheese was presented. Without a background or education in cheese, Whole Foods put Brier in a Cheese 101 course, and it was there that cheese had found her – it was the perfect balance of right-brain creativity and left-brain methodology that Brier had been searching for her whole adult life.