Baltimore’s Best Mac and Cheese Recipe 2012

Baltimore's Best Mac and Cheese Recipe 2012 - Chef Egg's Fonduelicious Mac and Cheese

This weekend I had the pleasure to be a contestant in 2012 Great Baltimore Mac Off at this year's Hampdenfest in Hampden Baltimore. My goal was to offer a dish (the sample in the middle of the pic) that was classic with a unique twist that would be unmatched by other contestants. I also wanted a dish that could stand a two hour serving time without congealing into a hard rubbery, grainy mess.

I chose to make a classic mac and cheese recipe starting out with rendering bacon and sautéing onions in the fat. Next I added flour to create a roux, which thickens the sauce and helps the cheese to melt with out separating. After cooking the roux for 5 minutes I slowly whisked in the cold milk to create a classis béchamel sauce. Next I added a pinch of nutmeg and brandy to flavor the sauce in the fondue style.

As for the cheese; most mac and cheese recipes are great, but turn out grainy and not creamy. This surely boils down to your choice of cheeses when creating the recipe. After my research and development I found that mixture of 4 cheese, Tullimook medium white cheddar, Sea Side sharp white cheddar, Pecorino Romano and Emi gruyere reserve provided me with a well balanced, flavorful, rich and creamy sauce.

I slowly whisked in the cheese until smooth and then poured the sauce over par- cooked cavatelli pasta, which is like a larger twisty macaroni. I cooked the dish in the oven until golden brow fro about 30 minutes. The loose sauce had enough moisture to finish cooking the pasta and create a creamy sauce even after 2 hours of sevice. While that cooked I made a simple salad of chopped green apple, red grapes and fresh tarragon. This crunchy and colorful salad was the unique garnish for the top of my dish.

After over 2 hours of tasting and judging the winners were announced. Much to my surprise I won the coveted "Peoples Choice Award" and was given an awesome gift basket with gifts from the shops on 36th st. aka "The Avenue". To top it off I got a super sweet trophy topped with a chef and covered in flames. Other winners included critics choice (amateur) Libby Franis Bauder and critics choice (professional) Trinity Fisher of Alchemy.

This was my first public cooking competition I entered and could not be happier with the experience and results. Thank you to all of the organizers, volunteers and people that came out to participate and we will see you next year!

Chef Egg's Fonduelicious Mac and Cheese

  • 6 Bacon strips, sliced
  • 1/3 C Flour
  • 4 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 1/2 gal. Whole Milk
  • ½ C Brandy
  • 1lb. Macaroni, half cooked
  • 18 oz. White Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz. Gruyere Cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. Pecorino Romano Cheese, Shredded
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 C Crushed Sun Chips
  • Place the bacon in a pot over medium heat and cook until crisp then remove. Add the butter to the bacon fat, and cook the onion until soft. Stir in the flour and cook for 5 minutes on low heat. Slowly whisk in the milk then simmer on low heat for 15 minutes whisking constantly until thick. Stir in the brandy then whisk in the ¾ of the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Mix the cooked pasta and cheese sauce, place in a buttered baking dish, top with the rest of the cheese and bacon and cook at 350 F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish with sun chips and the apple and grape mixture.

  • 1 Apple, diced
  • 2 C Grapes, sliced
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Tarragon, chopped (optional)
  • Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and serve as a garnish.


Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.

Carol Smalls 9/10/12 - 12:51 PM
Congrats, Chef Egg! Could you please identify which of the mac and cheeses in the photo is yours?

Bonnie 3/30/15 - 4:03 PM
Congratulations to you! Your mac and cheese recipe looks awesome and I am going to try it this weekend for Easter. Keep up the good work!

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