The festival features more than double the amount of artisans from when the event started in 2011. The list of those participating include award-winning cheesemakers from coast to coast and even a few being represented from Switzerland, Germany and Italy through Columbia Cheese in New York. Cypress Grove Chevre in California, Dutch Girl Cremery in Nebraska and twenty other companies will all be showing off their best cheeses in Chicago.
Sweet and savory will be represented in many forms through Pastoral’s distinctive food and beverage selection. There will be artisanal imports in small batches of beer from Germany, Belgium, England and the Netherlands. Meanwhile local breweries such as Uncle Jon’s Cider and 5 Rabbit will represent the Chicagoland area. Vodka distillers, such as Pinot from Oregon, and whiskey distillers in Illinois will example spirits. France will show off their mustard making skills while Wisconsin artists will demonstrate hand crafted jam. Together the festival will illustrate the hard work of culinary artists on both a national and international level.
Aside from the food and drink offerings, events will take place throughout the day to entertain all. There will be book signings with the distinguished author and food enthusiast Ari Weinzweig, who also is the co-founder of Zingerman. There will be the “Best of the Fest” competition, where food industry celebrities will be voting for their favorite featured artisans and products. The competition will offer a VIP ticket to Cochon 555, the one and only heritage pig and chef competition held in the United States. Cochon 555, taking place in Chicago on Sunday, April 28, has been working in collaboration with the Pastoral festival.
Other festival events include a BBQ butchering demonstration with Butcher & Larder’s Rob Levitt, Lillie’s Q’s Charlie McKenna, and Cochon 555’s founder Brady Lowe. The three will show the audience how to butcher and prepare an entire breed pig from in “Butchering for a Better BBQ.” Vendors at the Chicago French Market will also feature items such as wines and burek from City Fresh Market, rich chocolates from Delightful Pastries, Pastrami from Furmare Meats, and more.
The Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival brings Pastoral and Chicago French Market together to host the third annual festival. Sponsors include national media Culture Magazine and local media Edible Chicago along with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB).