The 15th annual Great Mac & Cheese Bake-Off was an incredibly amazing day on the peninsula, with people from all corners of Michigan and beyond coming together to celebrate our favorite wine pairings and mouth-watering comfort food. From smoked Gouda and bacon mac to spicy curry lamb mac, there was a unique flavor for everyone to enjoy.
Each year, event-goers have the opportunity to vote on which mac & cheese they felt was the cheesiest, was their overall favorite, and had the best wine pairing. Last year, Brys Estate had a clean sweep, winning each category with the help of Apache Trout Grill. This year, however, was a different story. While all of the mac & cheese dishes were utterly delicious, three stood above the rest.
Chateau Chantal and Blue Tractor took home the “Cheesiest” award with their Michigan-smoked Gouda and Cheddar Mac & Cheese with Applewood-Smoked Bacon. Creamy, gooey, and bursting with cheesy flavor, it’s no wonder this mac walked away with the accolade. Taking home “Best Pairing” were Peninsula Cellars and Smoke and Porter Public House, with a Mac & Cheese that featured Cajun Tasso Ham and Roasted Red Peppers in a Smoked Gouda Mornay Sauce, paired with 2016 Semidry Riesling. The spiciness of this mac paired with a crisp and sweet Riesling made for an explosive flavor combination. And finally, the winery/restaurant duo taking home “People’s Choice” was Bowers Harbor and Aerie Restaurant with their Honey Chipotle Grilled Flank Steak and White Cheddar Jack cheese Mac & Cheese, the only pair featuring perfectly-done steak in their offering. And while these three Mac & Cheese entries were voted top, all of the wineries and restaurants had deliciously unique mac & cheese and wine pairings.
What’s better? You can now recreate any of the nine mac & cheese offerings at home! Click below for the detailed recipes.2017 Recipes