Milton foodies have a new event to put on their calendar. Th e Mac & Cheese Festival made its debut on June 8, 9, and 10 at the Milton Fairgrounds. Lovers of the pasta-based food, were invited to taste, and vote for their favourites.

This was the first time ever the event was held in Milton. It was previously held at Ontario Place in Toronto. Managing Director Philip Suos relocated it because of the community’s potential for growth. “We want to change the festival landscape by creating more unique experiences for Milton that brings communities together,” he said in an email.

Festival-goers entered off Thomas St. or were brought in by a tractor from the Robert St Entrance. Inside the gates 20 different chefs offered everything from Beer Bacon Mac& Cheese to Mac& Cheese tacos, and Mac & Cheese burgers, and pulled pork sandwiches. Bouncy castles, and rides for the kids made it a family event.

Passes were available for a day, two day or the weekend. The Namala family was drawn by the lure of new foods. “We wanted to try different foods, and get to know the people” Yogi Namala said. They bought a three-day pass. “This is good, we come together as a community,” he added. They always attended in Toronto.

Part of the festival was for charity as well. The organization with the most votes won a cash $10,000 cash prize with $5,000 of it to be donated to charity. This year’s winner was the Hawthorne Café, and chef Kerry Bunney. They made “Totally Cheesed Out Tacos” using provolone cheese for the hard shells stuffed with noodles covered in Tex-Mex cheese, topped with salsa, tangy sour cream, tex mex cheese and gourmet chives. Their charity was the United Way of Halton.

Plans are underway for the 2019 edition of the festival. Suos wants to create a new layout with three times as many participant chefs and introduce a sampling menu. He also wants to add more ticket stations in to address complaints of long line-ups. For more information visit their website: www.hemacandcheesefestival.com
Photos by: Denise Cooperwhite

Laura Steiner
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