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Birchwood Kitchen's Head Chef to Lead New Andersonville Pastoral Restaurant

By Josh McGhee | August 21, 2015 7:47am | Updated on August 25, 2015 10:58am
 Jesse Williams will oversee the kitchen at the full service restaurant, at 5212 N. Clark St.
Jesse Williams will oversee the kitchen at the full service restaurant, at 5212 N. Clark St.
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DNAinfo/Josh McGhee

ANDERSONVILLE — Jesse Williams is leaving her post at a popular Wicker Park brunch spot to take over the kitchen of Andersonville's newest cheese shop.

Williams, who was in charge of Birchwood Kitchen, 2211 W. North Ave., for four years, will be the head chef of Appellation, the full-service restaurant planned for Pastoral's forthcoming Andersonville location, which is scheduled to open in early fall. She'll lead menu development and oversee the kitchen of the restaurant at 5212 N. Clark St.

“I’m excited to return to work with the passionate team at Pastoral in this new role as Chef of Appellation,” said Williams. “My approach to the menu is simple and straight-forward, focusing on rustic, seasonally driven and delicious dishes where I let the ingredients — and, of course, the cheese — do the talking.”

Williams has trained under Jason Hammel at Lula Cafe and has worked at Floriole Bakery and Uncommon Ground. She attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, the company said.

Pastoral, the "artisan cheese, bread and wine" shop, has shops in Lakeview, the Loop and at the Chicago French Market. Appellation is its biggest project to date, at 3,800 square feet. The 75-seat wine bar and restaurant will be divided into European-inspired small sections allowing for "intimate environment with attentive and thoughtful service," the company said.

"Jesse's style of cooking perfectly aligns with Pastoral's culinary vision," said Greg O'Neill, co-founder of Pastoral. "She believes in celebrating the origins of the food we serve and the families and farmers who produce them. Her approach is our approach; highest quality seasonal ingredients prepared simply yet wonderfully to highlight their flavors."

Mark Wrobel, who is in charge of Pastoral's beverages, will work closely with Williams, the company said.

"As with Bar Pastoral, Appellation will serve as an extension of the Pastoral retail store, presenting dinner cuisine that highlights artisan cheese, charcuterie, bread, and pairs them with wine, craft beer and cocktails," O'Neill said.

Bar Pastoral, 2947 N. Broadway, opened in 2012 as their first restaurant.

More details about the new Andersonville Pastoral will be announced in the coming months.

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