It’s probably one of my favorite little food events in Binghamton: The Binghamton Philharmonic’s remarkable Annual Mac & Cheese Fest. The fest just had its third year organized by the truly awesome folks on staff at the Phil: Katie Barlow and ED Brittany Hall.

If you haven’t been yet, it works like must food tastings. Wander the hotel ballroom and stuff your face with the delicious cheesiness. Restaurants volunteer to participate in support of our local orchestra. There’s a kid’s choice and a judging panel.

HERE are the results from 2018:
THE BIG CHEESE: Mooney's Sports Bar & Restaurant
OUT OF THE BLUE BOX: Kampai Japanese Steakhouse
JUDGES' CHOICE: The McKinley
CLASSIC MAC: Park Diner & Restaurant
KID'S CHOICE: Coppertop Tavern

Let me just say that this is a hard gig to judge--I’m a veteran of the experience.

After all, everyone’s mom made Mac & Cheese differently, and isn’t that what we’re all measuring it against?

(For the record, my mom left it to my dad, who used a Kraft box and served with hot dogs on the side. Is that actually a thing?)

I will say that my favorite Mac & Cheeses in town don’t always measure up with what results from the competition. I seriously recommend you check out what they’re serving at Social and The Colonial.