The winners of Mac & Cheese Fest are…

Restaurants battle for the Golden Noodle award at Mac & Cheese Fest

arly 100 restaurants and catering companies competed over the weekend at Chicago’s third annual Mac & Cheese Fest, a celebration of all things cheese and noodles at UIC Forum.

About 4,000 people attended this year’s fest, where they sampled as much macaroni and cheese as their stomachs allowed and ultimately voted on who should win the grand prize, a gold-plated noodle-shaped trophy dubbed the Golden Noodle. The fest was divided into two sessions — lunch and dinner — with a Golden Noodle awarded at each. (If you went to both, you could have gorged on more than 11 pounds of food.)

And the winners are: Rosebud Restaurants, where chefs Fabio Capparelli and Andrew Sikkelerus made arancini from macaroni, cheese, carbonara, bacon and peas; and catering company Amazing Edibles, which served chef Alexi Mandolini’s macaroni and Asiago cheese with crispy fried Brussels sprouts, mini potato chips and a chipotle-honey drizzle.

The winners for most creative mac and cheese were Carnivale with its mini mac and cheese ice cream cones (Brunkow aged cheddar ice cream, semolina waffle cone, and ancho chile breadcrumbs), and Il Tavolino, which served its “Bad to the Bone” marrow mac and cheese on an actual slice of bone.

Event owners and producers Cece Gonzales Kemnitzer, Melinda Joseph and Ozzie Gromada Meza will donate $10,000 of proceeds this year to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. They’ve donated $35,000 to date through the event.

Regretting that you missed out? A trio of the winning fried pasta balls from Rosebud will be available at the group’s Steakhouse and Prime restaurants throughout November for $10, and at least a dozen other restaurants will serve their entries for a limited time, reports RedEye.

See below for a complete list of the 2016 Mac & Cheese Fest winners:

Lunch session

Golden Noodle: Rosebud Restaurants

1st runner-up: Blackwood BBQ

2nd runner-up: Real Urban Barbecue

Most creative: Carnivale

Best presentation: NiX

Dinner session

Golden Noodle: Amazing Edibles

1st runner-up: Filini

2nd runner-up: Harvest Room

Most creative: Il Tavolino

Best presentation: 720 South Bar & Grill

[Source:-Chicago tribune]