Chicagoans may have heard about the American Cheese Society's big events in town this coming weekend – the Festival of Cheese on Saturday and the Cheese Sale on Sunday.
But why wait until the weekend to celebrate your love of cheese? There are other cheese happenings throughout the week leading up to the main event ...
Pastoral's Loop location (53 E. Lake) is holding daily (free) Meet the Cheesemaker events from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday (today): Mary Keehn of California's Cypress Grove Chevre
Wednesday: Mike Gingrich of Wisconsin's Uplands Cheese
Thursday: Janet Fletcher, San Francisco Chronicle columnist and author of "Cheese & Wine: A Guide to Selecting, Pairing and Enjoying" and "The Cheese Course." She will be signing books, and complimentary pairings will be served.
Friday: John Loomis of Michigan's Zingerman's Creamery
Tickets for Saturday's Festival of Cheese at the Hilton Chicago can be purchased online here for $85 (for members and non-members). Admission includes tastings of nearly 1,200 cheeses entered in this year's conference, as well as wine, beer and other specialty foods, plus an opportunity to chat with the cheesemakers themselves.
Sunday's Cheese Sale at Kendall College (900 N. North Branch St.) is free and open to the public. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Stay tuned for more coverage of this event later in the week.)
If you haven't gotten your fill of cheese by Sunday evening, check out Curds & Ale II: A Celebration of Beer & Cheese, presented by the Chicago Beer Society, Illinois Craft Brewers Guild and Rock Bottom Brewery. The event will feature beer and cheese pairings with several cheesemakers on hand. $30 for members/$35 for non-members, 2 to 5:30 p.m., Rock Bottom Chicago (1 W. Grand).