What’s a vegan’s dream come true? An entire weekend dedicated to vegan feasting!
We’ve all heard of Restaurant Week in cities and luckily Baltimore has a big enough vegan community that we were able to have Vegan Restaurant Weekend, February 17-19.
One of the biggest events of this weekend was the 2nd Annual Vegan Mac-n-Cheese Smackdown (yes, I went to the 1st one too).
Last year’s first time event was such a success with people traveling from out of town and even state to get in on the goodness, that this year the event had to moved to Baltimore City Community College in the gymnasium. The turn out was just as insane as last year and the food was equally, maybe be even more amazing. There was over 40 chefs entered in the competition, and chefs were anyone who just considered them self an outhome foodie or actual chefs from restaurants around the area, everyone created something unique and truly their own.
My Top 3:
Sprout Natural Choice– Sprout Natural Fitness is a great cafe over in Catonsville, MD where you can find yourself a flavorful and healthy meal. At the 2nd Mac-n-Cheese Smackdown they had two gentleman presenting food, one being Enzo Fikru from IDLife. They had two pasta options available, but the one I really went crazy for was their Vegan Crab Mac-n-Cheese. This pasta was spiced wonderfully to have a seafood flavor that wasn’t overwhelming but was reminiscent of some great dishes of the past. They also made a wonderful texture to have a crab life feeling, such as having true Lump Crab Mac-n-Cheese. I applaud these two for being so successful at replicating such a wonderful old time favorite.
Veggie Massacre– Veggie Massacre is the creation of two Southeast Baltimore residents, Rachel and Jason. These two were a serious knockout in the competition and an all time favorite of mine. When deciding what Mac-n-cheese dishes were my favorite I think about what ingredients were used to make these amazing dishes. Some people create something chessy and awesome and use things such as Daiya or Follow Your Heart brand cheese, but when you can get the same or even better outcome from something you’ve made from scratch then you’ve really grabbed my attention. Their Mac-n-Cheese was so rich and creamy and made with homemade Muenster Cheese, Homemade! I can not wait for these two to open up their own restaurant (happening soon) so I can feast on this dish whenever I feel like it.
Mac& Cheers!- This trio of chefs made one of my absolute favorite Mac-n-cheeses at the event. They had a nice Bread Crumb bake on top of their pasta but the real stand out was just how perfect their Mac-n-cheese was spiced! There was definitely some heat in their pasta, with what seemed to be the perfect amount of chipotle. If you can give me something cheesy and spicy than you will always have a way to my heart.
Hope everyone gets a chance to try out these amazing chefs creations or is inspired to go whip up your own Vegan creations. Big thanks to all sponsors and organizers of this amazing event! To know more, just click the link!
All photos from Balance Photography