I officially have a mac and cheese food baby after last nights 2013 Mac and Cheese Throwdown.
I was fortunate enough to be voted as the third judge for the competition. I met two great food influencers in the Valley, Aaron from go lb. salt & Joanie from Restaurant Live AZ, who were the other two judges of the night.
After being told by our Judge Nazi, Susie (Girl Meats Fork), that we had to sit and eat, I got into my mac and cheese swing. There were 10 chefs and we were not told who created which dish. The judging was based on taste, cheesiness, consistency and creativity.
Here were the entries:
1. Rusconi’s American Kitchen: Chef Michael Rusconi
White truffle scented with San Joaquin Gold Mac & Cheese.
2. Renegade by MOD: Chef Michael O’Dowd
Rangoon style mac and cheese with chinese sausage, foie, edamame, dried cherries, cream cheese and veleveeta. It came with a cheese dipping sauce as well as a drizzle of cherry sauce.
3. 5th and Wine: Chef Joshua Yazzie-McLean
Fried onion string & chorizo mac and cheese
4. Tom’s Thumb Fresh Market: Chef Kevin Janeski
Three cheese mac and cheese
5. EVO: Chef Jeff Caswell
Prosciutto, Scallions and Parmesan mac and cheese
6. Cafe ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, Chef Richard Garcia
Southwest mac & cheese with hatch green chilies, smoked corn, oven-dried tomatoes, double-cream gouda, shepard’s hope cheese, and a squeeze of lime, topped with a cheddar cracker crumb.
7. AZ Food Crafters: Chef Eddie Castillo
Jalapeno Bacon Mac N Cheese Pie Poppper: Jalapeno, mini pasta, cheddar cheese, pepper jack & cream cheese all stuffed in a buttery crust
8. District American Kitchen & Wine Bar, Chef John Marchetti
Mac and Mole Short Rib with micro cilantro
9. Twisted Rose Winery & Eatery: Chef Nicholas Galakatos
Twisted mushroom mac and cheese
10. Stacey’s Smoke Dem Bones: Chef Paul Williams
Red pepper mac & cheese
There was a clear winner in my book with a close second. The golden macaroni dishes triumphed as follows:
1st Place: Cafe ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, Chef Richard Garcia (Green chili)
2nd Place: Renegade by MOD, Chef Michael O’Dowd (Rangoon style)
3rd Place: EVO, Chef Jeff Caswell (Prosciutto and Scallions)
Peoples’ Choice: District American Kitchen & Wine Bar, Chef John Marchetti (Mole Short Rib)
There wasn’t a category, but if there was, my homemade golden mac and cheese headband would have for sure been in the lead:
Thanks to all the chefs who participated and rocked the event! I can’t wait until next year!