Pastoral: Artisan Cheese in the Windy City
Chicago is known more for its deep-dish pizza than for its cheese, but then again, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine has only been around for five years. Founded in 2004 by Greg O'Neill and Ken Miller, the purveyor of artisan cheese, bread and wine has carved a European-style niche in the Windy City. Pastoral is also a nominee for a Luxist Award for Best Cheese Shop.
Through its two brick-and-mortar locations in Chicago and across the country via mail order, Pastoral aims to make haute cuisine accessible to both discerning connoisseurs and eager masses. The outfit offers over 150 kinds of cheese -- made in small batches and cut to order -- in addition to ten types of freshly baked artisan bread, gourmet olives and cured meats.
O'Neill and Miller are well equipped to run Pastoral. The former boasts a two-decade career in marketing, working around the world for firms including Motorola, Verizon and Colgate-Palmolive; the latter trained as a chef at Peter Kump's New York Cooking School and studied under chef David Waltuck at Chanterelle, a renowned Big Apple eatery, and later went on to do programming work for the Navy's nuclear submarines before finding his true calling in cheese.
Pastoral's wares can be seen, browsed and ordered -- but, unfortunately, not sniffed -- at www.pastoralartisan.com. The company ships nationwide.
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