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Pastoral's Artisan Producer Festival This Weekend

For the second year in a row, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, which recently was one of five companies to win the Outstanding National Specialty Food Retailer of the Year by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, will host the Artisan Producer Festival this Saturday at the Chicago French Market. The free event, which takes place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., will feature more than 70 culinary producers from all over the country.

Some of the dozens of companies selling cheese, meats and other gourmet food that will set up to hand out samples and interact with guests include Milton Creamery (Iowa),Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery (Illinois), Zingerman's Creamery (Michigan) and Beecher's Handmade Cheese (Washington).

In addition to food, numerous breweries, wineries and distillers will be on hand like 5 Rabbit, Half Acre, Finch's, Unita Brewing, Elk Cove Vineyards, Few Spirits and Koval Distillery. The fest will feature a cheese-wrapping contest and avocado tasting for kids.

Plus, a number of food-industry folks, like Alpana Singh, Ina Pinkney, Bill Kurtis and C-House's Nicole Pederson will serve as judges for "best of the fest" competition to pick their favorite products.

Half Acre Beer Company

4257 North Lincoln Avenue, , IL 60618 (773) 754-8488 Visit Website

Chicago French Market

131 N. Clinton, Chicago, IL