On Saturday there was a mac and cheese showdown at the Central Bar in the East Village. The Who’s the Mac with the Cheese Food Competition brought together talented chefs and home cooks, each claiming their mac and cheese (categories: Classic and Mac & Cheese with a Twist) was the best. Travel and food enthusiast Dee Harris, put the competition together to spotlight top-notch chefs and cooks “truly passionate about their food.” DJ Cocoa Chanelle’s playlist for the night definitely set the mood for a mac and cheese feast!
Trisa Harris, home-cook (Classic Mac & Cheese and Bacon Mac & Cheese)
Trisa used an “old-school” recipe from her grandmother. For her classic entry she used extra sharp cheddar and colby cheese. But her special special ingredients made her stand out. The evaporated milk, eggs, mustard, and parsley brought a richness yet delicate taste to the mac and cheese. Her Bacon Mac & Cheese also used evaporated milk but added a sprinkle of pepper jack cheese and bacon! The bacon grease didn’t go to waste, she added that bacon-y smokey flavor to each bite!
“Magnificent Steve,” home-cook (Classic Mac & Cheese)
After years of being inspired by the amazing women in his family, Steve picked the most famous dish and added his own magnificent touch: in this case muenster, gouda and cheddar cheese! The salty tang from the muenster and hint of smoke from the gouda really elevated this classic mac and cheese!
Sandra Smith, home-cook (Classic Mac & Cheese)
Another home-cook hoping to make her grandmother proud, Sandra’s mac and cheese is about as classic as you can get. The sharp cheddar cheese and of course the love put into this entry was like a bite from grandma’s kitchen!
Chef George Gray, Doug E’s Chicken & Waffles (Classic Mac & Cheese and Three-Cheese Mac & Cheese with a Twist)
Chef George was pretty tight lipped on his recipes, but he did share that the way he cooks the elbow pasta is unique, he wouldn’t say exactly what but I could definitely taste it! It was a perfectly al dente, not too mushy that it gets lost in the cheese, but a perfect bite to give some texture to the mac and cheese. And in his Twist entry with three cheese, I was only able to get him to reveal two cheeses: sharp cheddar and white cheddar, which was a subtle contrast to his classic entry.
Chef Jeffrey Salazar, Cove Lounge (Lobster Mac & Cheese)
Not only did Chef Jeffrey put lobster in this mac and cheese, he also used five cheeses! Yes, five! Mozzarella, Asiago, Romano, Cheddar and American cheese topped with panko breadcrumb, wow, its no wonder this was a crowd favorite!