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The Mac is Back

The Mac & Cheese Festival is Nov 13 - and it will also have...

Article by Jennifer Birn

Photography by Hayden Walker

Originally published in Austin Lifestyle

Grilled Cheese!!! Yes, a festival celebrating Mac & Cheese and Grilled Cheese. Do you need to read any more or are you ready to skip to the end for when and where? For anyone new to Austin, and those who have previously deprived themselves or just been in the dark, the Mac & Cheese Festival, founded by Austin Food Magazine editor Hayden Walker, is currently in is sixth year. We caught up with Hayden to learn more about all things cheesy and what will be further tempting your palettes this year.

What inspired you to start the Mac & Cheese Festival?  At my old job, we had an office holiday potluck party and there were four mac & cheese dishes. So, I randomly thought, ‘What would it be like if there were 20 different mac & cheese dishes?’ To make the dream come true, I started a festival!

This is the first year you’re adding grilled cheese, what inspired that?   We've had other chefs serve it in the past and those are always among some of the favorites. So, this time I decided to make it official to add more cheese to the festivities. 

What can first-timers expect from the fest? Expect to see some amazing and very different style of mac and grilled options from our talented chef participants, including some Central Texas BBQ - inspired offerings, as well as Mediterranean, Tex-Mex, Cajun and even one vegan vendor. 


What’s your favorite kind of mac & cheese?  I'm a sucker for seafood and black truffle mac, but I'm always looking for the next dish that will blow me away. 

Final thoughts? Attendees better save their appetites and wear their stretchy pants because chefs are going to be slinging a ton of mac & grilled cheese this year! Many vendors are preparing BOTH mac & cheese and grilled cheese, so things are going to get wild!

Sunday, November 13, from 11:30am – 2:30pm

Lantana Place Shopping Center, 7415 Southwest Pkwy, Austin, TX 78735

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