Suzanne Lombardi – Founder + Chef
Suzanne didn’t always know that she wanted to be a chef (not to mention baker and candy maker), but she always knew that she wanted to be an artist. Born and bred in Milton, Massachusetts, she grew up inspired by the aromas of her grandmother’s baking and the textures of her father’s jazz. Her strong sense of creativity was innate from the beginning.
It was during her years in art school that Suzanne discovered her passion for cooking. She landed a job in a kitchen and later became the assistant to Boston food writer and stylist Sheryl Julian, sopping up as much knowledge as she could about finely crafted food and service.
After graduating Suzanne continued her culinary journey. She moved to California and mastered the art of baking at Il Fornaio and delved into the artisanal coffeehouse scene. After a few years she returned to Milton, becoming a professional baker and founding Dancing Deer Baking Company. In 2003, she left Dancing Deer and her talents led to creating artisanal candy and forming the company,Tiny Trapeze Confections. Eventually Suzanne sold Tiny Trapeze and dedicated her energy to dreaming up a new venture, the plate, which opened in 2012.
Suzanne is thrilled to be in her hometown, fashioning the masterpieces that grace our tables: serving-sized culminations of her years of expertise as an entrepreneur and gastronomic artist. She’s looking forward to serving some locally-grown goodness to you soon!
Jeanne Burns – Culinary Education Coordinator
Jeanne Burns has always been in love with food. While most kids were watching cartoons and sitcoms, she was immersed in cooking shows. Her favorite was Julia Child but there were many. Unfortunately, this food fascination was put on the back burner, so to speak as she set out to pursue a career in Physical Therapy. But after 7 years as a Pediatric PT, she realized that she didn’t love what she was doing. What she DID know was that she truly enjoyed cooking for herself and others. She enrolled in BU’s Metropolitan College for Culinary Arts, a program started by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, where she met Chef Michael Schlow, who was the owner and chef of Radius. He was looking for an assistant who also knew how to cook and thus began her official culinary education. She spent 6 intense months in his 4-star kitchen absorbing everything. She then spent the next 5 years as his assistant until 2010, after having her second child, she decided to devote more time to her family. But her cooking didn’t stop there. She volunteered to teach cooking classes for an organization called Cooking Matters, which empowers families with the skills to stretch their food budget and cook healthy meals. Jeanne loved working with the students in the program and got a real charge out of teaching classes. She had found her groove and a way to blend her two loves..family and cooking. So when she heard that The Plate was going to be offering cooking classes, she knew right away that it would be a perfect fit. Endowed with patience, kitchen savvy and creativity, she is the consummate culinary educator. And when she’s not busy organizing the wonderful array of cooking classes for The Plate, she is in her own kitchen playing with seasonal ingredients and creating culinary adventures for her family.
Clare Garland – Pastry Chef + Contributing Instructor
Clare Garland has been baking professionally for a long time. Since moving to the area 25 years ago she has taught baking classes through Brookline Adult Ed and Ruby Chard Catering. In 2011 her Sticky Toffee Pudding was featured on the Food Network show called Sugar High with Duff Goldman, on one episode featuring Boston Desserts. Clare is currently the Pastry Chef at local favorite, Ashmont Grill, where she has worked for the last 11 years while raising three boys right here in Milton! She has a wide array of experience in restaurant, retail and wholesale baking that she is excited to share.
Judy Lieberman has spent more than 3 decades in agriculture and farming. She is the co-founder, former Farm Manager at Brookwood Community Farm, located in the Blue Hills Reserve, which borders Boston. The farm is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to increase access to healthy food and farming opportunities for local residents, especially those in urban neighborhoods where fresh food is lacking.
In 2017 she started a new farm, Twelve Moon Farm, which is certified organic. This small-scale operation is focused on year-round production of greens and heirloom crops.
Prior to founding Brookwood Community Farm, Judy Lieberman spent 8 years developing and managing the Urban Farm at Re-Vision House, and was involved with community gardening in Boston before that. She started her farming career on dairy farms in Northern Vermont, and in-between, worked on sustainable agriculture research in California and with farm cooperatives in Nicaragua.
Ms. Lieberman holds a BS degree in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a SM degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.