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And A Merry Fondue To You

4 Jan

We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. We celebrated with my family in Chicago for Christmas and then headed east to Vermont to have another Christmas and New Years celebration with my husband’s family. All in all, it was very delicious, special and fun to eat amazing food with the people I love most in this world.

Cheese and Seafood Fondue at our New Year's Eve dinner in Vermont

My in-laws have a long tradition of breaking out the fondue pots during special events and holidays, and that is exactly what we did on New Year’s Eve. We had three variations, one cheese fondue, a seafood/broth fondue and of course for dessert, a chocolate fondue.

I’ve had cheese fondue before, but cooking seafood in the broth fondue was new to me. It was amazing. Here’s the recipe and tips for throwing your own fondue party. I know, 1970’s, but I think it’s on the rise and will be a dinner party trend in 2012!

Get a fondue pot, a spirit lamp, a few long-stemmed forks. I love this one from Le Cruset!

For the seafood fondue, rub the interior of the pot with a clove of garlic.

Add boiling broth (I recommend vegetable as it won’t interfere with the flavor) and keep a top on until you’re ready to start dipping.

Have enough seafood (I recomend scallops and raw shrimp) for your guests. You may also want to blanch the seafood to ensure it’s cooked in the fondue, or else make sure you leave it in long enough to cook well.

Have some sauces on hand, such as a mustard mayonnaise, cocktail sauce and a Thai sesame sauce) to dip the cooked seafood into.


For cheese fondue, add about four cups of diced cheese (of your choice) as well as a cup of dry white wine and about 1/4 cup of Kirsch brandy. Cook in a pot on the stove until it’s all melted. I would also add a teaspoon of sage, a nice aromatic flavor that accompanies the cheese.

Once melted, add to a fondue pot (which, similar to the seafood fondue, should be rubbed with garlic). Have bread, veggies on hand to dip and enjoy!

Make sure you have some nice white wine and Champage. Both go great with these fondue dished.



Due Lire Serves up a Delicious Wine Dinner

1 Oct
Massimo Di Vuolo behind the bar at Due Lire

Massimo Di Vuolo behind the bar at Due Lire

Since I had my son, getting out to restaurants has become harder and harder. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I still make a great effort to eat out three or four times a month, but when we do go out to a restaurant, we’ve started staying closer to the neighborhood. One of our absolute favorite staples is Due Lire. The genius behind owner, Massimo Di Vuolo and chef, Kevin Abshire, is one of those rare dynamics that is few and far between. Massimo brings forth his hospitality experience and expertise and Chef Kevin has developed a reintroduction to fine Italian dining. My husband and I may have become creatures of habit, but dear lord do Massimo and Chef Kevin make it easy to come to Due Lire time and time again.

This past Thursday, Due Lire hosted their first (of many, rumor has it!) wine dinners. I will save the suspense. It was amazing. Each course was thoughtfully created and expertly executed and the wine pairings were perfection. Oh, and it was only $65 a person, including tax and gratuity. It was also one of those great neighborhood experiences where people shared tables and got to mix and mingle with each other.

The menu started out with the antipasto, of fresh figs, citrus whipped mascarpone, honeycomb and brioche toast. This was all paired with a cataratto bianco blend from Tasca D’Almerita Leone Igt, 2009. The unoaked and vibrant flavors picked up on the citrus in the mascarpone. A sweep and delightfully light first course.

The primo course was straccetti al ragu’ di faraona, which was homemade rag-shaped pasta, guinea hen ragu’, porcini and fresh pomegranate. This was paired with Tenuta di Fessina Erse Etna Rossa, a level red that picked up the rich guinea hen and porcini. The homemade pasta was divine and held court among the other savory flavors.

Next up was tonno alla scapece, seared ahi tuna loin, scapece style zucchini, and a petite fennel salad. This was paired with a crisp Tasca d’Almerita le Rose di Regaleali. The crisp rose paired with the superbly prepared tuna was an amazing combination. The only thing that didn’t coordinate with this course was the crisp fall weather, but when planning for an event in September, you never know what it’ll be like outside!

The dessert course was poached pear, fried dunbarton blue pastry cream with a pistachio brittle. This was accompanied with a glass of Tasca d’Almerita Lamuri Nero d’Avola, a robust and juicy Italian red. The blue cheese pastry with the pears (poached in simple syrup) was perfect. I love sweet and savory together and the blue pastry was a well matched blend of those flavors.

Congratulations to the entire team at Due Lire (Massimo, Kevin, Kelly, Cyndi, and everyone else)- I know that it was a lot of work to put this first event together, but they really nailed it and everyone (literately, EVERYONE) was buzzing about when the next dinner would be. Whenever it is, I’ll be there. But I’m pretty sure I’ll be there in a week or two regardless. And so should you.



Chicago Gourmet 2011 is Almost Here

21 Sep

If you’re in Chicago this weekend and you’re a food and wine lover, then chances are you’re heading to the annual Chicago Gourmet Festival. With an amazing lineup of chefs, sommeliers, restaurants and participants, this will be the most delicious place in the city this weekend. Take a look at who’s going to be there. I will be attending Sunday and reporting a full recap. Tickets are still available!

2011 chefs

Ted Allen, Robert Mondavi Food and Wine Ambassador
Rodelio Aglibot
, The Food Buddha
Michael Altenberg, Bistro Campagne
Luis Arturo “Artie” Aucaquizhpi, Gene & Georgetti
Jerome Bacle, Courtright’s Restaurant
Ariel Bagadiong, Aja at the dana hotel and spa
Jimmy Bannos, Heaven On Seven and The Purple Pig
Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig
Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill/Topolobampo/XOCO
Jonathan Beatty, Davanti Enoteca
Greg Biggers, Café des Architectes at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
Brian Binzer, Zapatista Lincoln Park
David Blonsky, Bull & Bear/ Public House
Viraj Borkar, Vermilion
Francis Brennan, L2O
George Bumbaris, Prairie Grass Café/ Prairie Fire
Cyril Calmet, The Lobby at The Peninsula Chicago
Niall Campbell, Firefly Grill
Evandro Caregnato, Texas de Brazil
John Coletta, Quartino
Federico Comacchio, Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush
Steve Coppolillo, Rosebud Steakhouse
Abel Cortes, e.leaven Food Company
Chris Curren, Blue 13 Restaurant & Bar
Jesse DeGuzman, Sunda New Asian
John des Rosiers, Inovasi
Stephen Dunne, Paramount
Kendal Duque, The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant
Graham Elliot and Brian Runge, graham elliot/Grahamwich
Greg Elliot, Lockwood at the Palmer House Hilton
Patrick Fahy, Café des Architects at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
Christian Fantoni, Filini Bar and Restaurant
Joseph Farina, Salatino’s Restaurant
Dirk Flanigan, Henri/ The Gage
John Folse, Restaurant R’evolution
Mark Freedman, Myron & Phil Steakhouse
Jo-Marie Frigo, Nonna Santi’s Biscotti
Dirk and Terry Fucik, Dirk’s Fish and Gourmet Shop
Meg Galus, NoMI Kitchen
Gale Gand, Tru
Luigi Garcia, RIVA Restaurant
John Gatsos, Tavern on Rush
Carlos Gaytan, Mexique
James Gottwald, Rockit Bar & Grill
Elvia Granados, Francesca’s Restaurant
Rick Gresh, David Burke’s Primehouse
Tim Griffin, N9NE Steakhouse
Mark Grosz, Oceanique
Jeffrey Hedin, Leopold
Thomas Heinrich, Stetson’s Chop House & Bar at the Hyatt Regency Chicago
Perry Hendrix, Custom House
Roger Herring, Socca and Redd Herring Food & Wine
Kevin Hickey, Four Seasons Hotel
John Hogan, Keefer’s Restaurant/ Tavern at the Park
Sandra Holl, Floriole Bakery & Café
Trevor Hoyte, IPO
Tony Hu, Lao Szechuan
Dan Huebschmann, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House
Jun Ichikawa, Japonais Restaurant/ Mirai Sushi
Stephanie Izard, The Girl & The Goat
Noel Jaramillo, Bacardi at the Park
Stefan Karlsson, Fond Restaurant
Paul Katz, Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group
Ryan Kikkert, Jake Melnick’s
Beverly Kim Clark, aria Restaurant and Bar at the Fairmont Chicago
Diane Kochilas, AVLI Estiatorio
Michael Kornick, MK The Restaurant
Sarah Kosikowski, Sixteen
Eddie Lakin, Edzo’s Burger Shop
Mariano Lanfranconi, 5411 Empanadas
Gilbert Langlois, Chalkboard
Ryan LaRoche, NoMI Kitchen
Chan Le, Le Colonial
Kai Lermen, The Peninsula Chicago
Aaron Lirette, Duchamp
Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia
Anthony Martin, Tru
Justin Martin, Uncommon Ground
Shawn McClain, Green Zebra/ Sage Restaurant
Michael McDonald, one sixtyblue
Charlie McKenna, Lillie’s Q
John McLean, Sono Wood Fired Pizzeria
Mary Sue Milliken, Border Grill Restaurants
Cory Morris, Mercat a la Planxa
Jason Mousseau, HEARTY
Carrie Nahabedian, NAHA
Fernando Navas, SUSHISAMBA rio
Tommy Nevill, III Forks
Martial Noguier, bistronomic
Mary Nolan, Bon Appétit
Jessica Oloroso, Black Dog Gelato
Terry Opalek and Michael Frontier, Terry’s Toffee
Dan Pancake, Autre Monde Café
Chris Pandel, The Bristol
Beth Partridge, Autre Monde Café
Mark Payne, deca RESTAURANT + BAR
Nicole Pederson, C-House
Justin Perdue, LM Restaurant
Ryan Pitts, RL Restaurant
Celine Plano, The Peninsula Chicago
Ryan Poli, Tavernita
Tony Priolo, Piccolo Sogno
Patrick Quakenbush, ZED451
Joe Rosetti, Market Bar
Patty Rothman, MORE
Arun Sampanthavivat, Arun’s
Patricio Sandoval, Mercadito
Mario Santiago, May St. Cafe & Catering
Anthony Schmidt, Pierrot Gourmet at The Peninsula Chicago
Brian Schoenbeck, Stetson’s Chop House & Bar at the Hyatt Regency Chicago
Kevin Schulz, Fulton’s on the River/Bridge Bar
Nathan Sears, Vie
Alex Shalev, Park Grill Chicago
Patrick Sheerin, The Signature Room at the 95th
Bruce Sherman, North Pond Restaurant
Michael Shrader, Epic
Brian Shustrick, HEARTY
Larry Sinclair, Cantina Laredo
Mark Sparacino, Prosecco
Chris Spear, Uncommon Ground
Jeff Starr, Build A Better Burger
Sarah Stegner, Pairie Grass Café/ Prairie Fire
Kristine Subido, WAVE
Michael Taus, ZEALOUS Restaurant
Giuseppe Tentori, Boka Restaurant
Shin Thompson, Bonsoiree
Rick Tramonto, Restaurant R’evolution/ Tramonto’s Steak and Seafood/ RT Sushi Bar & Lounge
Melissa Trimmer, C-House
Jared Van Camp, Old Town Social
Paul Virant, Perennial Virant
Randy Waidner, Gibsons Restaurant Group
Scott Walton, Markethouse Restaurant and Bar
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto
Jared Wentworth, Longman and Eagle
Matthew Wilde, Moonshine
Erick Williams, MK The Restaurant
Keith Willis, SugarToad Restaurant at the Hotel Arista
Shelley Young, The Chopping Block
Ivan Yuen, Shanghai Terrace at The Peninsula Chicago
Celeste Zeccola, Bittersweet Pastry Shop & Café
Bob Zrenner, Hubbard Inn
Randy Zweiban, Province

2011 master

Serafin Alvarado, Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois
Jay Fletcher, Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado
Eric Hemer, Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida
Alpana Singh, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
Joseph Spellman, JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery

2011 speakers

Bridget Albert, Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois
Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig
Xavier Barlier, Maisons Marques & Domaines
Bobby Gleason, BEAM INC.
Lynn House, Blackbird
Charles Joly, The Drawing Room
Stefan Karlsson, Fond Restaurant
Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appétit
John Legnard, Blue Moon Brewing Co.
Rob and Allie Levitt, The Butcher and  Larder
Tony and Cathy Mantuano, Spiaggia
Paul Mugnier, Premium Port Wines
Ira Norof, CWE, Southern Wine & Spirits of California
Adam Rapoport, Bon Appétit
Peter Scott, Premium Port Wines
Erling Wu-Bower, The Publican
Donald Ziraldo, TWG/Equifera Icewine

2011 emcees

David Blackmon, CPS
Lin Brehmer, Radio Personality, WXRT Chicago
Joe Campagna,
Jason Carlen, Spiaggia
Catherine DeOrio, Culinary Curator
Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7
Shebnem Ince, Henri/The Gage
Chris Koetke, Kendall College
Kiki Luthringshausen, Beauty and Her Feast
Amanda Puck, The Foodarazzi
Adam RapoportBon Appétit
LeeAnn Trotter, NBC 5


Midwest Clambake

11 Jun
Painting of Clams by Mary E. Whelan

Painting of Clams by Mary E. Whelan

Who says you can’t have a true New England clambake in the Midwest? We did just that and it was a wonderful evening. With 12 dear friends in attendance, we sipped on Dark and Stormies, enjoyed couture deviled eggs and had a feast of clams, mussels and lobster out on the deck. Here are some photo highlights and recipes from the night.


The Dark and Stormy Bar

The Dark and Stormy Bar

Dark and Stormy:
This is a New England staple, and its namesake creates the portrait of a cold and rainy night on Martha’s Vineyard. To make this refreshing cocktail you only need a few things.


  1. 3 ounces  of Black-strap run (Goslings is typical)
  2. 5 ounces of Ginger beer (not ginger ale)
  3. Ice
  4. ¼ Lime
  5. 1 sprig of Mint


  • Mix the run and ginger beer together and pour over a tall glass full of ice
  • Add the lime and twist the sprig of mint into the cocktail
  • I recommend drinking out of a mason jar with a straw
  • Enjoy!
Clambake Cheese Platter

Clambake Cheese Platter


Catherine Merritt Clambake

Catherine Merritt Clambake

New England Clambake
This recipe is inspired by Ina Garten’s Kitchen Clambake recipe. I was unsure of how to cook everything and after reading her recipe, I realized it’s quite easy. So I added my own ingredients and such, but used her recipe as the model.

Ingredients: (for 8-12)

  1. 8 dozen clams
  2. 4 pound of mussels
  3. 4 1.5 lb lobsters
  4. 5 pounds of red potatoes
  5. 5 ears of corn cut into 2” slices
  6. 1 pound chorizo
  7. 3 sweet onions diced
  8. 4 leeks sliced thin (only white parts)
  9. 1 shallot diced
  10. 5 garlic cloves
  11. 4 cups of dry white wine
  12. 1 stick of butter
  13. Salt and pepper to taste


  • Place pot on a burner at high heat
  • Add the stick of butter into a large pot for the bake
  • Once it melts, add the garlic, onions, shallotts and leeks, stir until well cooked (about 15 minutes)
  • Add in this order:  potatoes, corn, chorizo, clams, mussels lobsters
  • Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, reduce heat and cook on medium high for another 15 minutes. You’ll know when it’s done when the clams are open and the potatoes are tender
  • Serve on large platters and don’t forget graveyard bowls for the shells
  • Enjoy!





This Foodie Went To Schwa

11 Jun
Catherine Merritt at Schwa

Catherine Merritt at Schwa

About six months ago, my friend from Portland, Amy, said she and her boyfriend were coming in town in June to celebrate her birthday, and she wondered if we could do dinner with them. But of course! Then we had to decide where this dinner would take place. One restaurant immediately came to mind: Schwa. With about six months out, it was enough time to begin working on securing that highly coveted reservation. I was on it.

For those that don’t know, Schwa’s Chef Michael Carlson has been acclaimed one of the greatest chefs of our generation and certainly of Chicago. On par, hands down, with Charlie Trotter and Grant Aschatz, what separates Chef Carlson from the pack is that he’s continued to do this his way. From the way that he runs the restaurant, the frustratingly maddening reservation system, and the loud music in the dining room to the sublime food- it’s all a reflection of the genius of Michael Carlson.


Photo credit: Schwa

Chef Michael Carlson of Schwa, Photo credit: Schwa

Back to about three months ago, after calling Schwa daily (I knew and still know the number by heart), I finally got an answer on Thursday. I felt like my sixth grade self who just called B96 to find out I won tickets to see C&C Music Factory. I kindly asked for the date of June 9 for four and he said he’d add us to the wait list. He also told me that they’d call in advance to get my credit card number to hold the spot. Amazing.

As June 9 got closer and closer I was simultaneously excited and anxious. I was dying for our meal but still hadn’t gotten the reservation confirmed and from what I’ve read on other boards is that Schwa is notorious for dropping resos without much warning. Luckily, the night before our dinner, they finally called back and we were set.

Schwa is BYOB and a little inside tip: when you’re buying bottles for your table, also pick up a six pack of something good for the kitchen. More on that later.

We bought four bottles, a sparkling, Pinot Gris, a brut Riesling and a Pinot Noir from Willamette in Oregon. In retrospect, we could have used another bottle and they’re generous with the pour, but everything we picked was spot on.

NOTE: when I went into this meal, I made the decision to leave my pad of paper in my bad and just enjoy it. I didn’t write down one note. So we’re going off of memory.

In all the 11 courses at Schwa (it was a nine course menu but the extra six pack for the kitchen got us to complimentary ones) there were some standouts. The quail egg ravioli was the most superb thing mine lips doth tasted. It was amazing. We were told the accompanying forks were simply meant to fend off others and we were left to shoot the ravioli. It was in a brown butter truffle sauce and I can’t emphasize enough how incredibly it was. Same can be said for the deconstructed baked potato soup with stretched ‘barely buzzed’ cheddar cheese. The cheese is fermented in lilac and coffee grounds and if you ever thought Cheddar was an under sophisticated fromage, please enjoy this one first. It was incredible.

Schwa Cuisine, Photo Credit: Schwa

Schwa Cuisine, Photo Credit: Schwa

Another off-the-menu offering from the kitchen was the tuna sashimi, which was the most delicious, delicate, melt-in-your-mouth piece of fish I’ve ever had. The highlight of the meal was the Schaw version of smores. It was braised short rib in a cocoa sauce with graham crackers and marshmallows over a glass of campfire smoke. It evoked every single sense and I am still dreaming about each and every course.

Food was part of the experience at Schwa, but another thing that contributed to this meal was the exposed kitchen and watching Chef Carlson and his amazing team of six (yes, that’s six total people. Running both the front and back of the house). Our server was incredibly attentive without coddling. He was even so kind as to extend some beer from the kitchen after our wine had run out. The music played is loud and that is a testament to Chef doing this his way. And I loved that.

With all the hoopla about Next and Alinea, I would chose to eat at Schwa again any day over those. It was an authentically beautiful experience that I am already making calls to secure our next reservation. Likely a year from now.

This Foodie Went To BlogHer Food ’11

23 May
Downtown Atlanta

Downtown Atlanta

Last week I had the pleasure of attending BlogHer Food 2011 in Atlanta. One of the great things about my job is that it affords me the opportunity to experience and learn new things all. the. time. It’s one of the many reasons I love it. Anyway- BlogHer Food was not my first blogger conference, but it was my first food blogger one and it was pretty interesting.

Networking at BlogHer Food 2011

Networking at BlogHer Food 2011

So from the perspective of someone who LOVES food and loves food blogs- I was in awe. I was surrounded by the authors of words I’ve been reading for years and it was a pleasure and honor to be among them. The conference was made up of a decent mix of well established bloggers and newbies to the world. At the very least, this allowed for good discussion at various vantage points.

The conference’s breakout sessions were modeled much in the way a blog post is- interesting perspective and insights with lots of space for comments. One of the most interesting sessions I attended was Recipe Writing: Copyright, Credit and Etiquette, paneled by Dianne Jacob, David Leite, and Liza Barry-Kessler.  The blurry lines of recipe copyright laws makes for a lot of confusion about adapted recipes versus inspired-by recipes or about stealing recipes outright. The rule of thumb I took from it was to source it, including a link, author and if the recipe is in a book, link to the book’s sale page on Amazon.  If you have any question about whether or not you should source a recipe- the answer is YES! Better safe than sorry.

While to content of the conference was engaging, though I didn’t always agree with it, being able to meet lots of new and old writers was a treat indeed. I got to chat with Hank Shaw of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook and I’m hoping he comes out for an event in the fall (I told him he needs to meet and eat at Hot Doug’s!).  David Lebovitz was there and absolutely hilarious in all of his matter-of-fact glory.

Roast Beef Crostinis

Roast Beef Crostinis

The food at the conference was good; way better than normal hotel conference food. I loved that they had vegan and glutton free options. The real deliciousness came when we ventured into Buckhead to sample Top Chef All Stars’ Richard Blais’ Flip Burger. Outstanding! I had the butchers cut burger with blue cheese, caramelized onions and it was outstanding. The sides were equally amazing; we got to sample the fries, vodka infused onion rings, Brussel sprouts and fried pickles. Heaven.

I opted to stay at the Ellis Hotel instead of the Westin and their Terrace restaurant was equally delicious. It’s all locally sourced produce, meat and dairy and you can immediately taste how fresh everything is. I also loved the second floor terrace balcony. It’s a great way to watch the streets from an elevated perch.

All in all, it was a fun trip that definitely rejuvenated me to be better about this blog (though I still wish I had an extra hour every day I could use for it) and I think moving forward, I’m going to commit myself to telling the story better. Yes, we all love food. But I want to continue telling you WHY I love it and why it means what it does to me.

EVENT: Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine’s Artisan Producers Festival

21 Apr
Sample cheese, plus sweet and savory accompaniments and more at Pastoral's First Annual Artisan Producer Festival

Sample cheese, plus sweet and savory accompaniments and more at Pastoral's First Annual Artisan Producer Festival

It’s no secret that I love Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine and when I got information about this upcoming event, I wanted to share it out. Below is all the information- I am definitely going to try to stop by. Let me know if you’re going to attend as well!


Free event to meet Pastoral’s featured culinary artisans, sample their products and celebrate small batch food, beer & wine from across America
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine will host its First Annual Artisan Producer Festival, a free event to meet Pastoral’s featured culinary artisans from throughout the U.S., sample their products and celebrate small batch foods, beer and wine while enjoying live music on Saturday, April 30, 2011, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., at Pastoral’s Chicago French Market location, 131 North Clinton Street, in Chicago. Parking for only $6 will be available for all attendees at 165 North Clinton, the parking lot located just north of Chicago French Market.

The lineup, which now includes more than 35 producers, features 14 cheese makers, including Illinois’ own Prairie Fruits Farm, Michigan’s Zingerman’s Creamery, Vermont’s renowned Jasper Hill Farm and Vermont Creamery as well as a host of other award-winning cheese makers from Wisconsin and around the country.

Additionally, there will be a variety of artisans who produce Pastoral’s distinctive sweet and savory accompaniments, including Michigan’s Seedling Farms, local favorites DAS Caramelini, Sweet Margy Confections and Bennison’s Bakery, Minnesota’s Ames Honey, Wisconsin’s Potter’s Organic Crackers and Quince & Apple Handmade Preserves, Chicago’s own Half Acre Beer Company and Goose Island Brewery, plus New York’s Salumeria Biellese and Sourpuss Pickles among others.

Pastoral created its Artisan Producer Festival as part of the company’s mission to make buying and eating great food and wine a fun, inviting and educational experience for its customers. Many of the products featured at Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival are sold in the Midwest exclusively at Pastoral. The event will also feature artisan producers featured at Pastoral’s neighboring Chicago French Market vendors.

Saturday, April 30, 2011
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine – Chicago French Market
131 North Clinton Street, Chicago, IL 60661

FOR MORE INFORMATION, visit or call 312-454-2200.

Meet Allison Hooper, Vermont Butter & Cheese, among other culinary artisans at Pastoral's First Annual Artisan Producer Festival

Meet Allison Hooper, Vermont Butter & Cheese, among other culinary artisans at Pastoral's First Annual Artisan Producer Festival

34 Degrees Crackers; Ameline Mustards; Ames Honey; Bennison’s Bakery; Brunkow Cheese; Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm; DAS Caramelini; Elburn Market; Frisian Farms; Goose Island Brewery; Half Acre Beer Company; L. Mawby (Von Beaumont Distrib.); Milton Creamery; Potter’s Organic Crackers; Prairie Fruits Farm; Quince & Apple; Rich Chocolates & Candies; Rogue Creamery; Salumeria Biellese; Sartori Foods; Saxon Homestead Creamery; Seedling Farms; Seymour Dairy; Shady Lane Cellars (Eno Amano); Sourpuss Pickles; Spring Brook Farms; Sweet Grass Dairy; Sweet Margy’s Toffee; Uplands Dairy; Vanberg & Dewulf (Windy City Distrib.); The Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery; Whimsical Candy; Wisconsin Sheep Dairy Co-Op; Zingerman’s Creamery

Abbey Brown Artisan Soaps; Chicago Organics; City Fresh Market; Delightful Pastries; Fumare Meats; Les Fleurs; Produce Express; RAW; Sweet Miss Giving’s; Vanille Patisserie; and MORE!

Also featuring Bill Kurtis, founder of Tallgrass Beef Company 

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine – Chicago French Market

131 North Clinton Street
Chicago, Illinois 60661

Monday – Friday
10:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday Closed

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine – Loop
53 East Lake Street
Chicago, Illinois 60601

Monday – Friday
10:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine – Lakeview
2945 North Broadway
Chicago, Illinois 60657

Monday – Friday
11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Shop 24/7, 365 days per year at Pastoral’s online store:

About Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
Pastoral, a venture of Pastoral Enterprises, LLC, is a European-inspired, authentic neighborhood cheese shop, offering the highest quality fine and artisan cheeses from America and around the world, select small production wines and freshly baked breads along with a full complement of related items such as charcuterie, olives and other accompaniments. Pastoral also offers custom gift collections, gourmet sandwiches and salads, picnics and catering. The company was founded in 2004 in the East Lakeview area of Chicago and was named in 2007 as one of six Outstanding Specialty Food Retailers by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT). For more information or to shop online, visit