Mac and Cheese Fest helps restaurants practice their Kraft


Courtesy of VulcanOfWalden

Cheese-lovers from around New Orleans came together Oct. 21 to celebrate the dairy delight at the annual Mac and Cheese Fest.

This past Saturday, cheese enthusiasts everywhere were as pleased as could brie at the inaugural Mac and Cheese Festival. Unsurprisingly, New Orleans placed grate spins on what one would think as a traditional pasta dish, and they couldn’t have done feta.

Walking through Louis Armstrong Park, where the event was held, one could spot anything from mac and cheese cupcakes crafted by Fat Harry’s to oysters topped with brie mac and cheese from the Blind Pelican.

Some of the dishes were a bit difficult to receive due to their popularity. House of Blues’ crawfish mac and cheese balls were clearly a fan favorite, running out of this savory dish before noon. Another crowd favorite was the grilled cheese with even more mac and cheese stuffed inside the sandwich from The Big Cheesy. Freshman and cheese fanatic Emily Cohen was immediately drawn to this dish and was very pleased with the festival as a whole.

“The grilled cheese from the Big Cheesy combined my two loves of grilled cheese and mac and cheese, and I had never had the chance to try them together,” Cohen said. “This festival was quite literally a life-changing experience for me; it had all my favorite foods in one place. It was truly a dream come true.”

Not only were there peculiar plates of mac and cheese to choose from, but people could also choose to have a taste of Louisiana in their mac and cheese. A couple of the restaurants sold their cajun spin on this meal. Superior Seafood prepared its famous crawfish mac and cheese while Food Drunk served Louisiana crab and crawfish mac and cheese.

Once an attendee had their particular dish of choice, they could sit on the rolling hills of Louis Armstrong Park and enjoy the amazing lineup of music. The stage was constantly filled with various genres of music, ranging from Fontainebleau High School Jazz Ensemble One in the morning to George Porter Jr. and Runnin’ Pardners in the evening. 

“We are a city that loves festivals. It’s another festival, and it’s another day outside. It’s another day to be with friends and family with music,” Festival Coordinator Julie Egren said. “So hopefully this will be a good family affair, and everyone will go home happy and come back next year.”

The Mac and Cheese Festival was started with the primary goal to serve the New Orleans community, but it has grown into a non-profit that will give its earnings from Saturday to charities in New Orleans, one being the Tres Doux Foundation, which supports children with autism. In addition to this generous action, Egren and the Head of Volunteers, Jeff Wessen, believe this festival was a great way to bring together the New Orleans community unlike ever before.

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