Chicago’s Hometown Cheese Shop Since 2003 Will Celebrate With A Special Cheesemaker Dinner, Medley & More This October
Chicago (October 1, 2015) – Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, in partnership with the American Cheese Society, is proud to celebrate American Cheese Month this October. The national event, now in its fifth year, honors the talented families, cheesemakers, and producers, along with their handcrafted American artisan cheeses. Throughout the month, Pastoral will highlight four American cheeses with an exclusive dinner, special cheese plate and gift medley, expertly paired American wines, and in-store tastings.
The month’s highlight, a Cheesemaker Dinner at Bar Pastoral, will take place on Sunday, October 18 at the Michelin-recommended bistro in Lakeview. The restaurant, which serves sharable dishes in a cozy, inviting, neighborhood setting, will host a ticketed dinner event in honor of Meadowood Farms’ Victoria Pedraza. Chef Jeffrey Parkin has created an elegant menu focusing on Pedraza’s artisan cheeses, which are seasonably crafted on a 225-acre farm from a flock of pasture-raised sheep. Tickets can be purchased in advance at pastoralartisan.com for $65, or $80 with wine pairing. Tax and gratuity is included.
“While the artisan cheese movement continues to thrive on the world stage, we enjoy calling attention to all of the inspiring American producers who are devoted to perfecting the craft at home year after year,” said Greg O’Neill, co-owner/co-founder of Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine and past chair of the American Cheese Society. “This year, we’re proud to feature both established cheesemakers and two exciting upstarts – such as Victoria Pedraza – to celebrate industry leaders as well as the creative innovators that are taking the American cheese industry to exciting new places.”
Pastoral has selected four award-winning cheeses to feature during American Cheese Month, representing the four major cheesemaking regions in the United States: the Northeast, South, Midwest, and West:
- Meadowood Farms’ “Lorenzo,” Cazenovia, New York Owner/Cheesemaker: Veronica Pedraza
Lorenzo is an alpine-style sheep’s milk cheese similar to Raclette from Switzerland. The rind is washed with freshly pressed cider from Critz Farms
(Cazenovia, NY). Pedraza, a talented up-and-coming cheesemaker who has quickly wowed the cheese community, ages the cheese for four months. Lorenzo is savory, vegetal and nutty, and perfect for melting in a sandwich or over vegetables.
- Boxcarr Handmade Cheese’s “Rosie’s Robiola,” Cedar Grove, North Carolina Owners: Austin Genke, Dani Genke, Samantha Genke
This innovative, Italian-inspired Robiola (soft cheese made from a blend of milks) with clean, dry rind and a luscious, silky interior never fails to impress. The Gengkes’ new approach to cheesemaking uses rich milk sourced from Jersey and Holstein cows on a neighboring farm.
- Car Valley Cheese’s “Billy Blue,” La Valle, Wisconsin Owner/Cheesemaker: Sid Cook
Made from the milk of pasture-grazed Wisconsin goats and aged for four months this award-winning bleu cheese is neither mild nor overbearing. It also took the first place award at the 2014 American Cheese Society awards. This cheese, made by industry trailblazer Sid Cook, is incredibly distinctive as goat cheese, especially with its delightfully creamy texture.
- Vella Cheese Company’s “Dry Jack,” Sonoma, California Owners/Cheesemakers: The Vella Family
The Original American Artisan Cheese! This cheese is the stuff of legends, much like its classic, established originator Ignacio Vella. Aged to replicate the grating cheeses of Italy, this Jack is fruity, sharp and full of spirit.
The four featured cheeses will be showcased in a variety of ways, including Pastoral’s “American Cheese Month Medley,” which retails for $64.99, includes cuts of the four featured cheeses, along with a single-source honey from Ames Farm in Wisconsin. The medley is artfully arranged inside a Pastoral Medley Craft Box, and includes information about the contents and each featured producer. A portion of the proceeds of this medley will be donated to the Daphne Zepos Teaching Foundation, which is committed to providing scholarships for cheese education. In addition, Pastoral will showcase a diverse collection of American-produced wines that are expertly paired with the featured cheeses.
Bar Pastoral will add an “American Cheese Month” specialty plate to its rustic fall menu in October. The plate, $20, will include one piece of each of the four featured cheeses, along with various accompaniments.
For more information on American Cheese Month, including a schedule of in-store demonstrations and tastings, please visit pastoralartisan.com or call Pastoral at 800.721.4781. For the Cheesemaker Dinner menu, visit http://www.pastoralartisan.com/bar-pastoral. A full calendar of local events to celebrate American Cheese Month is also available at all Pastoral store locations (2945 North Broadway; 53 East Lake; Chicago French Market, 131 North Clinton; and, coming soon, 5212 N. Clark Street).
About Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine
Founded in 2004, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine is a trio of national award-winning neighborhood cheese, specialty food and wine shops offering the highest quality, cut-to-order domestic and international specialty cheeses, freshly baked breads, perfectly chosen accompaniments and small production wines, along with hand-crafted, cheese-loving beers and spirits. Pastoral also offers custom gift collections, gourmet sandwiches and salads, picnics and catering. Pastoral is committed to providing the highest level of service and education for customers, striving to make shopping for and consuming artisan goods enlightening, approachable, fun and delicious. Pastoral welcomes customers at three Chicago store locations, and ships nationwide at www.pastoralartisan.com. Pastoral was named “Outstanding Retailer of the Year” in 2007 and 2012 by the Specialty Food Association. In 2012, the Company opened Bar Pastoral, an award winning, Michelin Guide recommended cheese & wine bistro serving shareable fare, in a cozy, inviting neighborhood setting. Early this fall, Pastoral will open its newest restaurant and wine bar, named Appellation, and retail location, in Chicago’s vibrant Andersonville neighborhood.
About Bar Pastoral
Recommended in the prestigious 2014 Chicago Michelin Guide, Bar Pastoral is an award-winning cheese & wine bistro and the first sit-down extension from Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, Chicago’s lauded gourmet retailer. Serving shareable fare, in a cozy, inviting neighborhood setting, Bar Pastoral celebrates the idea of “grazing as dinner” with an expertly crafted selection of fine cheeses, hand-made charcuterie, as well as small and large composed plates, all thoughtfully paired with small production wines, craft beers and spirits. Bar Pastoral also serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, and is a welcoming place to relax and enjoy meals that reflect the finest ingredients and flavors of the season. http://www.barpastoral.com
About the American Cheese Society (ACS)
The American Cheese Society (ACS) is the leading organization supporting the understanding, appreciation and promotion of farmstead, artisan and specialty cheeses produced in North America. More than 1,500 members strong, ACS provides advocacy, education, business development and networking opportunities to cheesemakers, retailers, enthusiasts and extended industry. ACS strives to continuously raise the quality and availability of cheese in the Americas. Since its founding in 1983, ACS proudly hosts North America’s foremost annual educational conference and world-renowned cheese judging and competition. For more information, visit cheesesociety.org
About American Cheese Month
American Cheese Month is an annual celebration of America’s diverse artisan, farmstead and specialty cheeses—and the farmers, cheesemakers, distributors, retailers, cheesemongers, chefs and educators who bring them to the table. Created by the American Cheese Society, American Cheese Month will be held annually each October, with special events and promotions in cities across the country. The goal of the month-long celebration is to raise awareness of the quality and diversity of American cheeses, as well as to increase support for family farms, traditional cheese production methods and sustainable production models. Revenue from select American Cheese Month events will support the American Cheese Education Foundation (ACEF). For more information, visit americancheesemonth.org.
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