MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Hungry Charlestonians flocked to The Grove at Patriots Point to sample some of the most creative macaroni and cheese dishes at the 4th Annual Mac Off.There were 21 different restaurants on a quest to win the title of best mac and cheese.The chefs from Southern Season in Mt. Pleasant offered up a recipe featuring Comt cheese from the Swiss Alps with some applewood smoked bacon. The folks over at New Moon Pub decided to use the Mac Off to test out their new Pimento Cheese Mac and Cheese Ball deep fried with spicy Aioli. If the consensus from the crowd is good, the balls could end up on their menu.
New Moon's use of local pimento cheese garnered the accolade for Best Local Ingredient, according to organizers, A Snappy Event. It wasn't just new menu items being introduced at the event but new businesses as well. Jason Lewis, Head Chef and owner of The Green Goat hoped the Mac Off would help make a good first impression for the new restaurant. Their entry had a hoppy twist. It was a mac and cheese with Newcastle beer, extra sharp white cheddar and a potato chip crust.Michael Routzahn from Mosaic Cafe and Catering whipped up a smoked gouda pimento mac and cheese made with parmesan, cheddar, honey, jalapeno and roasted red peppers topped with a smoked applewood bacon panko and parmesan crust. According to A Snappy Event, Routzahn walked away with the Critic's Choice award.Bringing in the meat, Jay Kees, Executive Chef and co-owner of Angel Oak Restaurant brought their "Piggy Mac" made with locally sourced braised pulled pork mixed into a cheesy sauce topped with house cured bacon.
Congratulations also go out to Crave Restaurant who took home their fourth Mac Off trophy, winning the People's Choice award.Pasta wasn't the only thing available. Blackbird Farms and Market dished out Southern Style Chicken with a selection of Fall farm veggies and Phillip "The Rib Man" served his signature ribs.The King of Pops offered up some cold treats and those with a sweet tooth noshed on funnel cakes and snow cones. There was even a S'mores version of mac and cheese.If you wanted to imbibe a bit there was a set up from Firefly Distillery, Bloody Mary "Scare Bar" and plenty of beer and wine to be found.Local vendors sold crafts, art, veggies and spices.The kids had fun activities including a 300 foot zip line and an activity center. Sports fans didn't miss out either since organizers set up televisions to view football games.Some of the proceeds from the Mac Off will go to Lowcountry Local First.