A delicious “food fight” cooking competition featuring professional chefs and restaurants as well as home cooks and non-profit organizations who will duke it out to the very end to be named Orlando’s Mac-n-Cheese Champion.

Orlando’s first-ever O-town MacDown is a family-fun event presented by SeaWorld benefiting Give Kids the World. It was exciting to see all of my favorite local restaurants and chefs working under one roof to raise money for a good cause.

Give Kids The World Village is a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Since 1986, Give Kids The World has served more than 130,000 families.

O-Town MacDown is the newest fundraiser for Give Kids The World Village, where more than 7,000 families visit each year. Their goal is to raise $46,000 through chef contest entry fees, guest entrance, vendor booth fees and event sponsorships to help fund wish-fulfilling vacations for children battling life-threatening illnesses.

To learn more about their mission and nonprofit resort visit:  www.givekidstheworld.org.

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With over 60 all-you-can-eat Macaroni and Cheese dishes..I’ve had more mac and cheese today than I would normally eat in one year. Scroll below to see my food adventures from O-town MacDown.

Caution: Extreme cheesiness ahead!

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Louie’s Bistro (Food Truck): Legacy Tomato Basil Mac n’ Cheese
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Chef Louie from Louie’s Bistro
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Whole Foods Mac n’ Cheese
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Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort/Smoke Shop: Smokehouse Brisket Mac n’ Cheese (beef brisket, smoked cheddar, gruyere, mozzarella, crispy onion straws) – One of my favorites!
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Walt Disney World’s Yak & Yeti: BBQ Mac n’ Cheese
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Pretzel Crisps
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Santiago’s Bodega Orlando: Bayou Gold with Smoked Andouille and Creole Relish – One of my favorites!
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Hard Rock Cafe
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Posing with Hard Rock Cafe’s Executive Chef Russell Booth
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Second Harvest Food Bank: Mac n’ Cheese with Apple Slices by Chef Jill Holland
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This is not unfamiliar to me – flavored popping boba/bubbles is one of my favorite drink toppings! Smokey Bones is going to start serving this in their restaurants.
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Smokey Bones: Truffled Mac n’ Cheese layered with tortilla chips – this is a preview of the create-your-own mac n’ cheese menu that Smokey Bones will release soon.
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Smokey Bones: Lemonade with agave and strawberry popping boba/bubbles – so in love with this drink!
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The Crooked Spoon
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Emeril’s Tchoup Chop: Chocolate hazelnut pasta, white chocolate mascarpone creme anglaise, nutella sauce, pistachio ice cream topped with candied bacon – I would like to nominate this dish for most creative!
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K Restaurant
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Taverna Opa: Fried Mac n’ Cheese with Lamb
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Cuba Libre: Mac n’ Cheese Empanada – so cheeeesy
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The Pub
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Fulton’s Crab House
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Charley’s Steak House – Lobster Mac n’ Cheese – generous portion of lobster 😉
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NAPA (Hyatt Regency) – Broccoli Mac n’ Cheese
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T-Rex Mac n’ Cheese – Great job on the cheese!
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Collette’s Clean Eats Inc. – Gluten Free Mac n’ Cheese
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TOASTED: Truffle Honey Mac n’ Cheese (Jarlsberg, sharp Cheddar, Gruyere, housemade truffle honey)
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Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville – French Onion Mac n’ Cheese
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Shipwreck Cove: Mac n’ Cheese treasure
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Shipwreck Cove
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Westgate Smokehouse Grill: Smoked Beef Brisket Mac n’ Cheese
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Renaissance Orlando at Sea World: Mac n’ Cheese with Sun-dried Tomatoes
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Made some new friends at Boston Lobster Feast
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Firing up the cheese!
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Boston Lobster Feast Mac n’ Cheese
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Edge Steakhouse: Black & White Truffle Mac n’ Cheese
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Le Cordon Bleu: Mac n’ Cheese with Sous Vide Smoked Pork Belly
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Local Executive Chefs and Food Celebrities judging the competition

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This event could have done well in an outdoor environment if Central Florida didn’t have unpredictable weather. I would love to see community events like this more in the future – great job everyone!

Event Information: http://support.gktw.org/site/PageNavigator/macdown.html