Jesse Williams is the Chef at Appellation, the 75-seat wine bar and restaurant located within
Pastoral at 5212 North Clark Street in Andersonville, which offers guests food and wine with
a sense of place.
Williams leads menu development and oversees the kitchen of the new, full-service
restaurant. Her approach to the menu is simple and straightforward, focusing on rustic,
seasonally driven and delicious dishes accented by the cheeses Pastoral has championed for
more than 10 years.
Jesse remembers food always being an important factor in her life. Cooking alongside her
mother and family friends, she learned that food is not just for sustenance, but rather a way
to bring people together and create memories.
A former Pastoral cheesemonger, she joined Appellation from Birchwood Kitchen in Wicker
Park, where she served as Head Chef for nearly four years. Jesse’s tenure at Birchwood put
both her and the restaurant on the map. There, she created seasonal and thoughtful food in
an inviting environment, which quickly led to Birchwood being one of the neighborhood’s
most beloved dining destinations. She also spent five years at Lula Café, where she trained
under Jason Hammel - an experience she says shaped her palate, her passion and her
approach to food. She also spent time at Floriole Bakery and Uncommon Ground.
Jesse attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.