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On Saturday, April 25 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, together with Chicago French Market and presenting sponsor Specialty Food Association, will host the 5th Annual Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival, 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.

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Guests mingle with craft producers at Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival 2014 (credit: Edible Chicago)

The event, now in its fifth year, will celebrate numerous talented and award-winning local, national, and international artisan producers of high-quality food and beverages. 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. Some of this year’s featured producers include Many Fold Farm, Meadowood Farms, Brooklyn Brine, Indulgence Chocolatiers, Field Recordings, Ricci Curbastro, and Letherbee Distillery. Chicago French Market vendor, Frietkoten Belgian Fries & Beer, will specially offer Lagunitas on tap.

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Guests sample artisanal meats at Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival 2014 (credit: Edible Chicago)

In addition to interacting with artisan producers, guests can also take part in stage demonstrations throughout the day, including a cured meats discussion with Cochon 555 and Creminelli Fine Meats, “Pairing Wine with Chocolate” by Indulgence Chocolatiers, “Farmstead Cheesemaking in Wisconsin” by Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Black Dog Gelato & Lillie’s Q’s “Backyard BBQ Sundaes,” Lagunitas Brewing Company’s, “The Art of Pairing Craft Beer,” and several others.

Greg O’Neill and Ken Miller, co-founders/co-owners of Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, 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. According to 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 these products.”

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Pastoral co-founder, Greg O’Neill (credit: Edible Chicago)

The APF will also 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 more information about the festival, including a complete list of participants, visit the official APF website #APF2015

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