Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Mac n' Cheese Festival in Liberty Village

When I was a kid, I thought my mac n' cheese was fancy if it had broccoli or hot dogs in it.  Now I look for ingredients like lobster or truffles.  My, my how times have changed.  The one thing that hasn't changed: I love cheese and ooey gooey mac n' cheese goodness. So in the spirit in indulging in a 3-day calorie intake in one meal, I walked down to Liberty Village for their mac n' cheese festival.  Not only is this a celebration of one of my favourite comfort foods, it's a time for Toronto chefs to show off their stuff and compete for a $5,000 cash prize for "People's Choice", among other prestigious awards.  

I arrived at the festival 20 minutes after it's start only to discover a GIANT line just to get tokens.  I even questioned what I was doing there several times.  I waited for 45 minutes and by the time I had gotten through that first line and looked back, it was twice as long. Sheesh!  

But I had made it through and had my tokens in hand.  Now I just had to pick a vendor and do some eating.  Sounds simple enough, but the space was jammed with hungry people shuffling for position in yet another line.  My criteria for choosing a mac n'cheese quickly transitioned from being about ingredients to being about the length and accessibility of the line.  

I sampled two dishes.  A beef cheek mac n'cheese with a Brazilian twist from the folks at Mata and a cubed and fried mac n' cheese topped with kimchi.  Both were delicious.  

Now for something to wash it down with.  I couldn't even be bothered to you to the beer garden.  It had a small stage and a few beverage vendors but was pretty disconnected from the rest of the event and I couldn't be bothered to push through the crowd to get there.  I left. 

So although I love mac n' cheese and there were lots of great options to choose from, the organization of the event distracted from the food and made what should have been a relaxing and nostalgic experience a very stressful one.