This past Sunday, I had the honor of being one of nine chef's competing in the first annual Mac Down LA! It was a super fun and super hot day in Pasadena, but the energy was on point! A few hundred folks came out to sample and vote for their favorite vegan mac and cheese...and there was some fierce competition. All of this, of course, for a good cause.
Sponsored by Vegan Outreach, the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition, The Shumei America National Center in Pasadena, and hosted by Gwenna Hunter of Vegans of LA.
Each and every dish was completely different from the others, really making it hard to pick a favorite. I would happily eat any of the entries for dinner every night! From truffled mac and cheese, to gluten free and organic pumpkin seed based cream topped with red onion fondue mac and cheese, to a thirteen-cheese rich and decadent mac and cheese, the voting was going to be close.
My two favorites were Chef Ron's from Sun Cafe (I mean, duh, that stuff is ahhmaazing!) and Lemel Durrah's from Compton Vegan (He brought the heat, and in my opinion had the best texture of any other mac and cheese there!)
Each attendee received a plate with all nine choices, then each person
voted for their favorite by dropping their macaroni in the box! (photo by: TyLeigha Black)
Guess what? I won! I am the 2017 Mac Down LA Champion! And, man, I couldn't be more honored. I passed out recipe sheets at the event, but promised to post the recipe here for those who were unable to attend. Now you can make this Award Winning Vegan Buffalo Mac and Cheese at home...
Award Winning Vegan Buffalo Mac and Cheese
Cheesy Buffalo Sauce
1 ½ pounds (24 ounces, or 681 g) peeled red potatoes,
- 2 cups (224 g) cashews, soaked overnight or boiled, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup (235 ml) unsweetened soy milk, more as needed
- 1 cup (235 ml) of your favorite hot sauce (I used Franks Red Hot)
- ¼ cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
- ½ cup (60 ml) refined coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup (120 g) vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti, but any brand, even home made would work here)
- ½ cup (120 g) vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti, but any brand, even home made would work here)
- ½ cup (112 g) vegan butter (I used Earth Balance, but any brand, even home made would work here)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper