Dish Flash: Five Questions for Chrissy Camba
Camba will be the chef at Bar Pastoral (2947 N. Broadway, no phone yet), the bistro and wine bar scheduled to open in October adjacent to the original Lake View location of the cheese, bread, and wine shop Pastoral. Camba previously worked at Vincent and Sage Grille in Highwood.
Dish: Did you go to culinary school?
Chrissy Camba: I’m self-taught. In college, [I earned a] biology degree. The next step was the MCATs and med school, and I just kept putting it off. In my free time, I kept baking cakes. Crazy cakes, like the Guggenheim [Museum] in New York. It was artistic, and you could eat it.
D: How did you wind up with Pastoral?
CC: I had heard that they had an opening, and I sent in a resumé. I told them how when I go to their stores, I buy enough cheese so that whoever is ringing me up thinks I am having a party. But I just like having my own personal stash. I really love, love cheese.
D: What kind of food will you make there?
CC: I will be making charcuterie. I will do some pâtés. We’re going to try out sausages and terrines. . . . I have built a lot of relationships with farmers. [I’ll be] seeing what’s in season, and if I can pickle it or preserve it well, and if I can pair it with either cured meat or a cheese or even a dish I will be making.
D: What kind of dishes?
CC: We will be putting out nosh plates and snacks like a roasted lamb shoulder with some kind of squash. Or a seared quail with squash purée and marinated grapes. There will be more substantial dishes than cheese and charcuterie. Also, a composed cheese plate, but not just a flight with some jam on the side. Like you could have Great Hill Blue with an orange sable [cookie] and a fennel-pickled plum. That would all come together for a nice composed cheese dish, which you could eat for your dessert.
D: Are you thinking about any sweeter desserts?
CC: I’m thinking about a few desserts here and there. I am really into making tarts. I would want to make, like, a cheesecake lemon curd tart. Because I think dessert is really important—but only after cheese.