Lake County foodies and their culinary protégés (i.e. “kids”) will make the trip to the 5th Annual Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival on Saturday, April 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Chicago. Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, together with Chicago French Market and presenting sponsor Specialty Food Association, will host one of the largest FREE events of its kind in the Midwest. The event, featuring nearly 100 artisan producers dedicated to craft food and beverage production, will take place at Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton St. What a delicious way to cap off your Earth Week celebrations by enjoying the bounty of our planet, in a manner that gives proper respect to the ingredients.
Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival is an annual culinary event in Chicago that gives guests the chance to meet artisan producers from around the globe, taste their products, and celebrate small batch food, beer, spirits, and wine. Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival is distinctive from most national and international culinary events of its kind because it is entirely FREE and open to the public.
We first met Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine when they so generously donated to Love Rising: A Gluten-Free Celebration and Adoption Fundraiser, and their Lakeview Restaurant was our pick for Chicago Restaurant Week. Co-founders/co-owners, Greg O’Neill and Ken Miller bring the same attention to quality and craftsmanship to Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival.
O’Niell and Miller created the APF five years ago to shine a light on the Chicago French Market and all the great products available all year long from high-quality producers. Said O’Neill,
“the festival is the perfect opportunity for our guests to meet the people who make these amazing foods and libations and to truly understand their stories and the hard work and passion that goes into making them.”
Knowing where our food comes from, as well as who produces it and the manner in which they do so, is a key element in improving our own health and that of the environment.
Participating cheesemakers, charcuterie and confection producers, and other featured purveyors will meet and interact with guests and offer samples of small batch food, beer, spirits, and wine throughout the day. If your child, like mine, gets excited by simply roaming the aisle at Mariano’s or Whole Foods Market for samples, this event will blow their mind! Leave the goldfish crackers at home and awaken your child’s palette to new flavors. If the children need further convincing I give you two words: GELATO and CHOCOLATE.
Guests can also take part in several stage demonstrations during the day:
11:00am, Welcome from Pastoral co-owner/co-founder, Greg O’Neill
11:30am, Cochon 555 and Utah’s Creminelli Fine Meats, “The Husbandry Culture:
Artisan Cheese, Wine and Cured Meats
12:10pm, Black Dog Gelato & Lillie’s Q, “Backyard BBQ Sundaes”
12:30pm, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, “Farmstead Cheesemaking in Wisconsin”
1:00pm, Indulgence Chocolatiers and Candid Wines, “Pairing Wine with Chocolate”
1:30pm, Lagunitas Brewing Company, “The Art of Pairing Craft Beer”
1:55pm, Many Fold Farm, “Grassfarming and Cheesemaking in the South”
2:20pm, RAW., “A discussion and demonstration about RAW food”
The APF will take donations at the door and online to benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Purple Asparagus, a Chicago non-profit that educates children, families, and the community about eating that’s good for the body and the planet.
For those unable to attend this year’s festival, Pastoral will have gift collections available for purchase online at pastoralartisan.com, in-store or by calling 800.721.4781.
Pastoral’s 5th Annual Artisan Producer Festival, presented by The Specialty Food Association
Saturday, April 25, 2015, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Chicago French Market, 131 North Clinton Street, Chicago, IL 60661
FREE and Open to the Public
Parking & Transportation
Metra will offer an $8 weekend pass that includes unlimited rides for the weekend. Kids under 11 ride free. Parking lot is adjacent to Chicago French Market, with entrances at 164 N. Canal Street and 165 N. Clinton Street. Limited space available. Try SpotHero to find and reserve discounted parking in advance.
For more information about the festival, including a complete list of participants, visit the official APF website.
If your children are seeking more culinary adventures, consider downloading our Passport to Flavor and taking the Little Lake County Global Dine Around challenge. Let their young tastebuds travel all over Europe, Asia and the Americas without even leaving Lake County.