‘Glorious, Christmas, Perfect’: Fans describe Indy’s first mac and cheese festival

Indianapolis' first ever Mac and cheese festival is in the books. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – There’s been hype about it around town for weeks.

Finally, Indianapolis’ first ever mac and cheese festival is in the books.

It was dubbed the “Return of the Mac.” The first of it’s kind festival sold out twice, and organizers say the event will return next year.

“Glorious, I really don’t know what else to say,” said Geoff Price, while eating samples from 26 participating restaurants.

“It’s like inner fat kid festival is what I call it,” said Laura Moore. “Just let it out.”

“Oh, it’s like Christmas again, it’s really good. The tough part is getting to taste it all,” said AJ Sweeney.

Organizers sold out two sessions for the event and even had to move it to accommodate more people.

In the end, over 2,800 people got to chow down on the goodness.

“We just want to make something good that everybody enjoys. That’s definitely the main goal here,” said Alan Sternberg, the head chef at Cerulean Restaurant. “We cooked 80 pounds of dried pasta, so around 160 pounds cooked. About 80 pounds of cheese sauce too.

People waited in the cold for an hour outside The Pavilion at Pan Am Plaza. When they got in they were handed a fork and a plate, nothing else.

Some of the samples were topped with chorizo, others with shaved ham or crab meat. Most of it washed down with a local beer.

“We’ve been talking about the idea for about two and half years, finally decided to get together and now you have this,” said RJ Wall, of Chef’s Night Out that helped organize the event.

All of the featured restaurants were local.

“You just get to get a feel for what’s in your community that you might not have ever heard of before so it’s kind of nice,” said Madison Mashburn.

“It’s comfort food. It’s mass quantities of it, different flavors. Perfect,” said Geoff Price.

In the end the mac and cheese was judged. Downtown restaurant Nada ended up winning the people’s vote. Fountain Square restaurant, Pioneer won the judge’s vote.

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