This is Not a Drill

Rejoice! Houston Is Hosting Its First Mac 'n' Cheese Festival

Vegans and gluten-free folks need not apply for this cheese-and-carb fest.

By Nicki Koetting February 7, 2017

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Maybe the Houston Zoo will offer its mac 'n' cheese at Houston's first Mac & Cheese Fest?

Image: Alice Levitt

You’ve probably seen the Facebook event on your newsfeed by now. Just in case you thought it was too good to be true, we here at Houstonia (who take mac ’n’ cheese very seriously) can confirm that yes, this is not a drill: Houston’s first-ever Mac & Cheese Fest will be held on Saturday, April 15 at Silver Street Studios. (That’s Easter weekend, by the way, and we hope you didn’t decide to give up carbs, dairy, or the holiest of all dishes combining those two ingredients for Lent this year).

Silver Street Studios events manager Janie Enloe is the one to thank for what might possibly be the best idea for a food festival (outside of our own upcoming Gumbo Smackdown, of course). She says she came up with the idea when she visited Chicago with a friend and happened upon a mac ’n’ cheese festival there.

“It was the happiest place on Earth,” Enloe says. “We came back and we were like, 'There’s not one in Houston' we should do it.' That was our inspiration. And there’s so many restaurants in Houston that have great mac ’n' cheese, we were pretty sure we could make it happen easily.”

Lo and behold, Enloe made it happen.

During the festival, dozens of local restaurants (including notable mac 'n' cheese purveyor Beaver’s) will offer unlimited samples of their best mac ’n’ cheese to attendees who, after eating all the cheesy mac they desire, will vote on their favorites. The winner of the most votes will receive the title of Houston’s Best Mac & Cheese. Adults over 21 will also receive five free drink tickets.

Tickets are $50 for general admission and $80 for VIP admission.

As of press time, 26,000 people have responded to the Facebook event saying they are interested in the inaugural Mac & Cheese Fest, with 3,300 people "attending" so far. “We put it on Facebook and it blew up,” Enloe says. “We’ve gotten really good feedback, and we’ve sold a lot of tickets. It’s been really exciting.”

Mac & Cheese Fest Houston, Saturday, April 15, noon–3 p.m. Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards St. Tickets: $50–$80

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