If you live in Toronto, you know where Ontario Place is. As a kid you went there for a day in the sun with fun rides and good food. Little did you know that Ontario Place holds fantastic festivals all summer long. This past June 3-5, 2016 they held the Mac and Cheese Festival.
You might be thinking, how can you centre an entire festival around pasta with cheese on it? Well, let me tell you that the Mac and Cheese Festival is a lot more than just your average bowl of Kraft Dinner.
Tons of restaurants came out with different booths to show their take on mac and cheese. To start, Mangia and Bevi an Italian restaurant who doesn’t normally do mac and cheese showed off their truffle paste imported from Italy with their unique spin on the dish. They added peas, four different cheeses, meat, and a stick of bread for a delicious swirl of flavours in your mouth.
Kale is the latest trend with the foodies and the catering company Century Delight took advantage of that. With kale chips and different types of tasty meat including chicken and maple bacon, this company nailed the healthy mac and cheese meal. Century Delight is known for catering to their parties’ needs and even does food tastings for weddings. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up getting one of their signature mac and cheese dishes for your big day.
Caplanky’s Deli made an appearance at this cheesy event with their signature meat inside of the gooey mac and cheese. When asked about the crowd, they agreed that it has been steady with lots of dancing and laughter going on. This reflects the vibe of the whole festival with the live music and flowing alcohol everywhere you go.
You might think that there is no way that ice cream and mac and cheese could mix but Bake Three Fifty has found a way to make it work. This dessert food truck got creative with what they served and got their customers to choose a cookie, ice cream, and topping. They sprinkled on some mac and cheese and created a delicious dish. The ice cream mixed with the gooey pasta makes you want to come back for more sweet treats.
Need a break from all of the cheese? The amusement park by the water was the perfect place to go. With a massive Ferris wheel overlooking Toronto and teacups that will spin you until you can’t stand straight, this part of the festival was a guaranteed good time.
Metro kept the party going with a lineup of festivities all day. Starting with a cooking show on Apple Beer Mac & Cheese to a cheese pairing seminar, these hourly events were something you did not want to miss. One of the highlights was nutty homestyle mac & cheese which was presented by Alexandra Feswick who is a chef at The Drake Hotel.
Speaking of celebrities, Raca Cafe and Bar was created by the Chopped Canada 2016 Champion Ivana Raca. Raca produced a classic mac and cheese featuring three Canadian cheeses. It was voted the number one new restaurant and their booth at the festival was in a prime spot near the stage.
One of the most unique dishes was Junked Food Co.’s Doritos bag mac and cheese. Tucked away in half of a Doritos bag, you can request all kinds of toppings with your mac and cheese including salsa, cheese, lettuce, sour cream and more. This booth was a huge hit with a line going far past the other nearby booths.
In the mood for some kangaroo? Penthouse Catering got everyone’s attention by offering grilled kangaroo with Mauritian BBQ sauce. This might not be the average person’s cup of tea but they did have regular mac and cheese for the unadventurous folk.
The Mac and Cheese Festival is an event that you didn’t want to miss out on. It was a day filled with laughter, sunshine, and of course lots and lots of mac and cheese. All we want to know is: when will we be able to get tickets for the 2017 Mac and Cheese Festival?