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Mac and cheese showdown

2 Doors Down chef de cuisine Andrew Farrell drops into East Coast Living to share two standout mac and cheese recipes.

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Recipes Featured In This Article

By about 10:25am rumbling stomaches were all you could hear in our office. We waited patiently for Andrew Farrell, chef de cuisine from 2 Doors Down in Halifax, NS. He was coming to offer us a taste of two award-winning macaroni and cheese recipes from Dairy Farmers of Canada’s (DFC) Grate Canadian Cheese Cook-Off.

Earlier this month, four Canadian chefs faced off with their best mac and cheese recipes.

This year’s competitors included Andrew Farrell, chef de cuisine at 2 Doors Down Food + Wine in Halifax; Alexandra Feswick, chef de cuisine at the Drake Hotel in Toronto; Nicole Gomes, executive chef at Nicole Gourmet in Calgary; and Thompson Tran, chef and owner at The Wooden Boat, Port Moody, BC. Feswick’s Nutty Home-Style Mac & Cheese took home this year’s prize.

Halifax’s Chef Farrell dropped by East Coast Living HQ to share with us the winning recipe and his entry Smoky Cauli-power Mac & Cheese. “My best piece of advice when making mac & cheese is to look in your cheese drawer and use some of everything,” he says. His recipe contained extra-old Cheddar, smoked cheddar, and blue cheese.

When we could stop eating long enough to share our thoughts, the reviews were glowing.

“I have a simple rule for mac and cheese: make it normal without a lot of show-off ingredients. Give me pasta, give me cheese, and leave them alone. For the first time ever, it seems I was wrong. Jerusalem artichokes, blue cheese, and hazelnuts are damn fine additions. Compliments to Chef Feswick, and I stand corrected.” – Trevor J. Adams, Halifax Magazine senior editor

“A great smoky flavour with the creamy texture of a traditional mac and cheese. The mushrooms and cauliflower add more heft to the dish, making it a more substantial meal.” – Suzanne Rent, Bedford Magazine editor

“I’ll admit I’m torn here. Chef Farrell’s cauliflower and mushroom mac and cheese had a smokey flavour that I loved. The combination of the creamy cheese meeting the crunchy hazelnuts of Chef Feswick’s mac and cheese was surprising, and really tasty.” – Kim Hart Macneill, East Coast Living editor

We tried, but we couldn’t decide which we liked best. Click on the links above for both recipes and give them a try yourself. Don’t forget to leave a comment and let us know which you favour.

Kim Hart Macneill

East Coast Living