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.