This Swiss Cheese uses a cool gradient effect where two gradients are set to opposite directions to make a circle look like a hole; perfect for Swiss Cheese. As always there are a few other tricks in here as well.
Start the wedge of cheese with a circle.
With the handle on the right side (the lollipop) move the handle around to create a wedge.
Pull the bounding box to shorten the height of the wedge. You can still move the lollipop handles to change the wedge shape.
Draw a rectangle the width of the wedge. Fill it with a slightly darker color.
Use the Direct Selection Tool to select and move the sides of the rectangle to match up to the edges of the wedge.
Create a circle for the holes.
In the Gradient Panel, click on the fill section in the upper left to activate the gradient ramp. Double-click on the color stops (dots) under the ramp. Create a gradient from darker to lighter.
Create a slightly larger circle and send it to the back using Object > Arrange > Send Backward.
Change the gradient in the circle behind to be lighter on the left, darker on the right, This will give the look of an inverted circle with the gradients going opposite directions.
Select the lighter outer ring and darker inner ring and choose Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
Move the circles onto the cheese. Duplicate these circles and resize them and place them around the cheese.
To create a hole that is on the edge, create a circle and move it over the edge.
Select the circle and the cheese shape and use the Minus Front command in the Pathfinder panel.
To create the shaded section of the edge cutout with two over lapping circles.
Use the Minus Front command in the Pathfinder panel to make a crescent shape. Apply the dark to light gradient.
Move the gradient crescent over the opening.
Repeat the process with the edge shape. Select the oval and cheese and use the Minus Front Pathfinder mode.
Copy the gradient from the last edge and paste it behind the new edge shape.
To create and edge hole, create two ovals and use the Unite Mode in the Pathfinder Panel.
Create a 2 pt larger shape by using Object > Path > Offset Path. Send the shape Backward behind the front shape.
Apply a Gaussian Blur Effect to the shapes.
To create an odd hole, create 2 overlapping circles and use the Unite Mode in the Pathfinder Panel to make it one shape.
Create a 2 pt larger shape by using Object > Path > Offset Path. Send the shape Backward behind the front shape. Apply a Gaussian Blur Effect to the shapes.
Apply the holes to the cheese shape.
Select some of the holes and make them less perfectly round.
Choose Effect > Transform > Pucker & Bloat. Set the Bloat to 5%. This will make the shapes less perfect.